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

FHWA 49-11
Monday, September 12, 2011
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $1 Million in Quick Release Emergency Relief Funds for Flood Damage in New Hampshire

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced he is making $1 million in quick release emergency funds immediately available to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) to begin repairs to roads and bridges damaged by floods from Hurricane Irene.

"The Obama Administration stands ready to provide federal support to New Hampshire as it recovers from the damages caused by Hurricane Irene," Secretary LaHood said. "We are making emergency relief funds available right away to start the process of rebuilding."

Continued rainfall and heavy winds from Hurricane Irene resulted in severe flooding and damage to roads and bridges in northern New Hampshire, primarily in and around the White Mountain National Forest. NHDOT will use the quick release funds to pay for work done to reopen critical roads to traffic, primarily along the Kancamagus Highway and at Sawyer Bridge. NHDOT has accelerated the work to reopen roads in time for the vital fall tourist season.

"This emergency funding represents a down payment for communities in New Hampshire that were affected by Hurricane Irene," Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez said.

Quick release emergency funds provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are used to reimburse communities 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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