Insurance claims top $842 million in deadly Tenn. wildfires

Sidney James Mountain Lodge in Gatlinburg, Tennessee (Credit: Ashley Biggens via WATE ReportIt!)

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) – State officials say insurance claims have topped $842 million in the deadly eastern Tennessee wildfires that burned thousands of buildings.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance provided the number to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

The department says as of Jan. 6, the Gatlinburg-area wildfires resulted in more than 3,900 claims and more than $842 million in residential and commercial property losses.

The numbers don’t include damages to uninsured structures.

In mid-December, Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters estimated damages at more than $500 million. Previously, 2,460 structures were deemed damaged or destroyed.

On Nov. 28, gale-force winds spread wildfires to the Gatlinburg area, killing 14 people.

Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman Michael Peacock says FEMA has approved $2.5 million in wildfire-related grants as of Tuesday.

 

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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