November 07, 2011

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce New York Set to Receive $2 Million in Emergency Funding for Highway Flood Damage from Hurricanes Irene and Lee

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce That New York Is Set to Receive $2 Million Through DOT’s Federal Highway Administration to Make Repairs to Roadways As Result of Recent Hurricanes; Will Complement $5 Million State Has Already Received

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration is releasing $2 million in emergency relief money for New York State after Hurricanes Irene and Lee. Specifically, this funding will help fund repairs to washed out roads and bridges, debris deposits on roadways, damaged roadway surfaces and more. Schumer applauds the DOT for its allocation of funding to New York, as it will provide critical aid to the state in its rebuilding efforts from these devastating storms.

“Fixing our roads and bridges needs to be one of our top priorities as we recover from the storms,” said Schumer. “Washed out roads and bridges choke off our rural communities from small businesses and put a huge drag on the recovery. This federal funding will help upstate New York quickly make the necessary repairs that will get our roads and highways up and running again.” 

“After miles of roads, highways and bridges were washed away by these severe storms, this emergency funding is an important step to rebuild,” Senator Gillibrand said. “America has always stood by those suffering from disasters and helped them to recover. Rebuilding our roads and highways will help reconnect our families, businesses and communities, creating construction jobs in the process. I will keep fighting to secure the federal resources we need to recover and rebuild.” 

New York suffered flooding and substantial damage to roads and bridges from Hurricane Irene’s rainfall beginning on August 26. NYSDOT will use quick release funds to expedite emergency repairs to roads, highways and bridges in 31 counties throughout the state. NYSDOT estimates that overall damage to federal-aid highways from these floods will likely exceed $100 million. FHWA's emergency relief program provides funds for the repair or reconstruction of roads and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events. Quick release funding through the emergency relief program is designed as a ‘down payment’ to meet the state’s most immediate needs and is later supplemented by traditional emergency relief funds. 

Schumer and Gillibrand noted that typical damage in New York included washed out roadways and bridges, debris deposits on roadways, damaged culverts, and damaged roadway surfaces.

The funding for New York is being made available through the DOT’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Emergency Relief Funding program.  Quick release emergency funds provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will be used to reimburse the state and counties for the cost of repairs. FHWA's emergency relief program provides funds for the repair or reconstruction of roads and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.