JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) — In Jonesborough, residents went without water for days at a time after a 2022 arctic blast, and local officials want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

Washington County was among the Tennesse counties approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to receive federal disaster assistance. The funds are available to local governments and certain non-profits.

“We were expecting this to get approved when the disaster was happening back in December,” said Jonesborough Mayor Chuck Vest. “Our staff has been accumulating those numbers. We’re looking forward to getting reimbursed for some of those expenses we had during the disaster.”

The money granted to the community is expected to be used for permanent repairs to the water system, as temporary patches were utilized immediately following the damage caused by the arctic blast.

“Some of the temporary patches we made to our water lines out there, they do hold up very well,” Vest said. “But, to make a permanent repair to those lines is probably the first and foremost is what we’d like to see done.”

Along with repairs to the water system, changes to the town’s water plant are expected as well. Vest hopes the funding can be used to replace the oldest lines there.

Vest also said the funding could lead to Jonesborough having a better backup system in place in the event that leaks need to be tracked. Another focus of the town is acquiring better water meters for customers.

“Having better water meters out there now will allow us to pinpoint these leaks faster,” Vest said. “So that would be very helpful in the future.”

The Town of Jonesborough is hoping to get reimbursed up to 80% of what it spent due to the natural disaster sometime this year.

Greene County was also approved for disaster assistance by FEMA.