WASHINGTON - The state of New York will get emergency funds to address damage to highways and bridges caused by Tropical Storm Irene.
Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer announced Wednesday the release of $5 million through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration. The funds will be directed toward critical infrastructure repairs in 31 counties, including Essex, Franklin, and Clinton.
The funding will address washed out roads and bridges, debris removal, surface repairs, and more.
"This funding will get New York on the road to recovery after Hurricane Irene," Schumer said in a prepared statement. "These storms caused massive flooding and serious damage to many of New York's roadways in the past month."
Schumer said the funding will allow counties to get to work on making necessary repairs.
"No one can question the devastation these storms left in these communities," Gillibrand added. "This is a good start to help our recovery."
New York's transportation department estimates that damage to highways receiving federal aid exceeds $100 million. According to Gillibrand and Schumer, the highway administration's emergency relief program provides funds for the repair or reconstruction of roads and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.
The program's "quick-release" stipulation is designed to be a "down payment" to meet the state's most immediate needs, the senators said in a press release. The money is later supplemented by traditional emergency relief funds.