Tennessee Village. Bill Lee called President Trump for federal emergency disaster relief after a “deliberate” explosion that rocked Nashville on Christmas morning.
An estimated 41 businesses were damaged in the bombing, and many residents were displaced. Three people were injured.
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In a letter shared on Twitter on Friday, Lee elaborated on other influences.
“The explosion directly affected AT & T’s communications systems in the state of Tennessee with additional impacts in Kentucky and northern Alabama,” he wrote.
The system failure affected residential phones, cell phone service and more than 20 public safety answering points that serve as 911 call centers. It also grounded inbound and outbound flights at Nashville International Airport for a portion of the day, the governor said.
According to The Associated Press, the Federal Aviation Association has since issued a temporary flight ban around the airport, requiring pilots to follow strict procedures.
Lee said that “federal assistance is needed to compensate efforts by state, local governments, disaster-relief organizations and insurance for disaster-related losses and to supplement available resources.”
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Between February 2019 and December 2020, the state of Tennessee spent “well” $ 175 million in managing response and recovery activities for major incidents without seeking federal assistance.
As a result, most counties and cities “do not have the staffing or resources available to do cost accounting simultaneously” and to continue response activities, the letter stated.
“These extraordinary state and local expenditures have reduced our ability to overcome this current event,” Lee said. “Given these factors, the severity and enormity of the current situation is such that the effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and the affected state governments.”
In a follow-up letter addressed to Trump on Saturday, Tennessee censored. Marsha Blackburn and Lamar Alexander reiterated Lee’s call for federal disaster relief, noting that “the site of the explosion remains an active crime scene.”
“Disaster is placing a significant financial burden on the state, local governments and affected individuals,” he said.
Officers from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency are working with the Metro Nashville Police, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to coordinate the state’s response to the disaster.
“We are grateful for their efforts to respond to the needs of our communities. First responders and law enforcement officers are working on leave on this investigation and we applaud their bravery,” the senators wrote.
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Nashville Mayor John Cooper declared a civil emergency in the area of the explosion and enforced a curfew that continues until 4:30 pm Sunday.
Invesitgators continue to search for a motive in the explosion and have not ruled out a suicide attack. Police said the explosives were used in an RV, which was on a city street. A recorded message broadcast from the vehicle warned people in the area to evacuate.
At a press conference on Friday evening, Police Chief John Drake said that tissues near the scene of the explosion have been found to be human remains, but none have been declared fatal at this time.
On Saturday, federal agents converted the home of a potential “person of interest” in Antioch, in suburban Nashville, as investigators denied hundreds of tips and leads.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.