The U.S. Department of Transportation on Monday, June 27, announced $5 million in quick release emergency funds available to the North Dakota Department of Transportation to begin restoring federal-aid highways damaged by flooding.
“This money will help North Dakota address the devastation caused by the floods without any delay,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “It will help ensure roads and bridges are safe for those working to protect homes and put communities back together once flood waters recede.”
The town of Minot was just the latest in relentless flood events throughout the state caused by snow melt and heavy spring rains of unprecedented magnitude affecting at least 43 of the 53 counties throughout the state. In Minot, at least 10,000 people were evacuated as water began spilling over the town’s emergency levees. The Souris River, which curls from Canada through north central North Dakota back into Canada, reached levels never witnessed before and inundated thousands of homes and businesses. Crews continue to work around-the-clock to protect homes and critical infrastructure.
Quick release funds may be used for other areas affected by runoff this year, including Devils Lake, the Missouri River, James River and the Sheyenne River, and the Spirit Lake, Forth Berthold and Turtle Mountain Reservations.
“The people of North Dakota should continue their battle against flood damage with the knowledge that today’s funds represent only the beginning of the agency’s commitment to restoring transportation throughout the state,” says Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez.
Quick release emergency funds provided by (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.
Mendez says the program is bracing for additional funding requests from states across the country that have been battered by this years’ extreme weather events.