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Dept Of Transportation Releases $29 Mln In Emergency Relief Funding To California

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U.S. Department of Transportation has announced that it will quickly release $29.4 million in Emergency Relief Funding to California, ravaged by deadly storms recently.

The Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released the funds for use by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and four U.S. Federal land management agencies as a down payment to repair roads, bridges and highways that were damaged in storms and flooding that lashed across the state in late December and January.

FHWA is providing $10.2 million to Caltrans to be distributed to local transportation agencies throughout the State to help repair Federal-aid highways maintained by local agencies. FHWA is also providing $19.2 million to the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation to repair federal land areas damaged by the severe storms that led to flooding, landslides and mudslides in California.

"These extreme storms have disrupted millions of lives and livelihoods, with serious damage to key infrastructure that Californians count on," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "The emergency funding we are announcing today will help California remove debris, rebuild roads, restore vital transportation corridors and strengthen its resilience in the face of future extreme weather events," he added.

"The Federal Highway Administration is working closely with Caltrans and Federal land management agency personnel in California as they assess the damage caused by this catastrophic wave of storms," said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt.

California officials estimate that 40 of the 58 counties in the State were affected by the storms, which brought the flooding of rivers and roadways, hundreds of mudslides, and forced evacuations. Merced, Monterey, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and San Luis Obispo were the worst-affected counties.

These "quick release" Emergency Relief funds are an initial installment of funds toward completing emergency repairs and restoring essential transportation links. Additional funds needed to repair damages will be supported by the Emergency Relief program through nationwide funding allocations.

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