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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 44-11
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Contact: Kelly Hanahan
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $5 Million in Quick Release Emergency Relief Funds for Flood Damage in Vermont

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced he is making $5 million in quick release emergency funds immediately available to the Vermont Department of Transportation (VTrans) to begin repairs to roads and bridges damaged by floods from Hurricane Irene.

"The Obama Administration stands by Vermont as it tackles the big job of recovering from Hurricane Irene," Secretary LaHood said. "We are making emergency relief funds immediately available to help repair damaged roadways and restore vital transportation links so drivers can travel safely."

Rainfall from August 26-28 resulted in catastrophic flooding and substantial damage to roads and bridges in wide areas across Vermont. VTrans will use quick release funds to expedite emergency repairs to roads, highways and bridges throughout the state.

"This emergency funding will help communities reopen roads and bridges and allow all affected areas to get back up and running," Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez said.

Overall damage from Hurricane Irene to Vermont's federal-aid highways is estimated to exceed $125 million.

Quick release emergency funds provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are used to reimburse counties for the cost of repairs to resume essential traffic flow immediately after the flooding and prevent further damage.

FHWA's emergency relief program provides funds for the repair or reconstruction of roads and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.

Mendez added that FHWA anticipates additional funding requests from states that have been battered by extreme weather.

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