U.S. Department of Transportation Providing Alaska $9 Million in ‘Quick Release’ Emergency Relief Funding to Repair Storm and Flood Damage from Typhoon Merbok in Western Alaska
Tel.: (202) 366-0660
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced the immediate availability of $9 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds for use by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. The quick release funds will be used to offset costs for emergency repairs to the roads and bridges damaged by widespread flooding along Western Alaska due to Typhoon Merbok in September.
“We are announcing emergency funding today to help the people of Western Alaska reopen vital roads, speed up emergency repairs before the winter season, and ultimately recover from the damage caused by Typhoon Merbok,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
“The Federal Highway Administration is working closely with Alaska to repair the damage caused by Typhoon Merbok in Western Alaska,” Acting Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack said. “The quick release funding we are providing will help get those repairs done as soon as possible and better prepare this area for future storms and floods.”
Starting on September 15, Typhoon Merbok struck Western Alaska, producing hurricane-force winds, higher than normal tidal ranges, and storm surges of up to 10 feet above mean high water. This event caused wind damage, as well as, severe riverine and coastal flooding, to approximately 40 cities and villages along an approximately 1,300-mile-long section of the Western and Northwestern Alaska coastline. Initial damage reporting shows damage to highway infrastructure, including a several hundred feet breach, erosion, coastal road embankment loss, and pavement loss.
FHWA’s Emergency Relief program provides funding to States, territories, Tribes, and Federal Land Management Agencies for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events. These “quick release” Emergency Relief funds are an initial installment of funds toward restoring this essential transportation link.
The FHWA Emergency Relief program complements Bipartisan Infrastructure Law programs and provisions by encouraging agencies to identify and implement measures to incorporate resilience in the design, restoration and repair of damaged infrastructure, to better withstand future damage from climate change and future weather events. FHWA is also updating its ER Manual to spotlight the program’s impact on improvements to system resilience and the equity of infrastructure spending.
More information about FHWA’s Emergency Relief program can be found online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/erelief.cfm