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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. Department of Transportation Providing California $15.3 Million in “Quick Release” Emergency Relief Funding to Repair Roads Damaged by Tropical Storm Hilary

Thursday, October 5, 2023

FHWA 35-23
Tel.: (202) 366-0660

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced the availability of $15.3 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief funds for use by local public agencies in 12 counties in California. The funds will offset costs of repair work needed for roads, trails, parking areas, and other infrastructure damaged by Tropical Storm Hilary in August.

“As California continues to rebuild after Tropical Storm Hilary, these emergency funds will help repair roads and bridges in 12 counties, restoring access to key attractions that support the local community and economy,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“The Federal Highway Administration is providing resources to reopen roads in California that were damaged by Tropical Storm Hilary,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “Today’s announcement represents a down payment on our commitment to ensuring all repairs are completed.”

On August 18, 2023, Tropical Storm Hilary brought heavy rain, flooding, lightning, and gusty winds, along with mud and debris flows, impacting 12 counties. The storm caused damage and forced the closure of federal-aid roads and highways in the impacted counties. The quick release funds will primarily be used on local public agency facilities impacted by this disaster, including Whitney Portal Road in Inyo County, which provides access to Mount Whitney and the surrounding attractions, including the Mount Whitney Trailhead and Alabama Hills.

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 resource installment to help restore essential transportation. Additional funds needed to repair damages on the federal lands affected by Tropical Storm Hilary will be supported by the Emergency Relief program through nationwide funding allocations.

The FHWA Emergency Relief program complements the 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, so that it can better withstand future damage from climate change and future weather events.

More information about FHWA’s Emergency Relief program can be found online at

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