U.S. DOT releases emergency funds to California

October 6, 2023

Land Line Staff

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A dozen counties in California impacted by Tropical Storm Hilary in August have been granted $15.3 million in emergency relief funds by the Federal Highway Administration.

Flood warnings, power outages and mudslides from the storm necessitated an emergency declaration by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Aug. 19. That order remained in effect for 30 days from its effective date.

The Associated Press reported Death Valley National Park received a year’s worth of rainfall in a 24-hour period, while San Diego recorded its highest rainfall total ever.

Emergency repair work needed for roads, parking areas and other infrastructure are to be covered by these funds the FHWA terms as “quick release.”

“As California continues to rebuild after Tropical Storm Hilary, these emergency funds will help repair roads and bridges in 12 counties, restoring access to key attractions that support the local community and economy,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a news release.

The funds will be used primarily by local public agency facilities impacted by the disaster, such as Whitney Portal Road, which provides access to Mount Whitney, Mount Whitney Trailhead and Alabama Hills.

This is an initial resource installment to help restore essential transportation, according to the U.S. DOT.

“Today’s announcement represents a down payment on our commitment to ensuring all repairs are completed,” Federal Highway Administration Administrator Shailen Bhatt said.

FHWA’s emergency relief program provides funds to states, territories, tribes and federal land management agencies for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophes. Any additional funds needed for repair due to Tropical Storm Hilary will be supported through nationwide funding allocations, U.S. DOT said. LL

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