Even before Hurricane Sandy began to spin itself out yesterday in the Northeast and Canada, the states that felt the storm's impact wasted no time launching their recovery efforts. DOT wasted no time either, making immediately available $13 million in quick-release emergency funds to New York and Rhode Island. Restoring roadways is essential for first responders and relief workers trying to access affected communities and for quickly restoring critical services to impacted residents.
This is the first installment of Federal Highway Administration funds to help begin repairing roads, bridges and tunnels in these two states. The amount represents 100 percent of what the first two states to reach out to DOT requested, $10 million for New York and $3 million for Rhode Island. These emergency relief funds are just a down payment on our commitment to all of the states affected by Sandy, and we expect other states to apply for additional emergency relief funding in the coming days.
President Obama has directed us to immediately help restore vital transportation infrastructure following this unprecedented and devastating storm – and that’s exactly what we’re doing.
Our announcement yesterday followed the President’s call for federal agencies to act quickly and bring all available resources to bear as quickly as possible. It also builds on the emergency assistance for these states approved by President Obama in the last several days, including the major disaster declaration approved for New York and New Jersey.The President’s top priority is to make sure that all available resources are being provided to state and local responders as quickly as possible. And all of us here at DOT share that priority. We stand ready to assist governors, state DOTs, mayors, and transit agencies as they recover from this disaster.