Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is making $1 million immediately available in quick release emergency funds, allowing Minnesota’s Department of Transportation to keep repairing roads and bridges damaged by spring floods.
The flooding is mainly because of a major spring snowmelt after this winter saw heavy snow accumulations in the northern Plains region and the highest water content in that snowpack in 60 years. Minnesota was hit especially hard, with high waters from the Mississippi, Minnesota and Red rivers causing floods in 40 counties and tribal areas.
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"Minnesota is still grappling with the ravages of recent flood damage," said LaHood. "This emergency relief money will help restore roads and bridges to good condition so people can travel safely.”
Both roadway and rail traffic experienced disruptions, and the state has already been shouldering heavy costs to make repairs. Quick release emergency funds from the Federal Highway Administration are available for damages caused by natural disasters, and this money will reimburse the state and counties for some of their costs.
FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez said that program also expects more funding requests from various states that have been hit by this year’s extreme weather.