March 10, 2015 9:00 AM, EDT

Emergency Funds Go to Mississippi to Help Restore Roads After Severe Winter

Jimmy Emerson/Flickr

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced that Mississippi will receive $500,000 in emergency relief funds to pay for road damage from severe winter rainfall that started in mid-February.

“These funds will not only repair the damaged roads, but they’ll help people who rely on these roads on a daily basis to get to their jobs and pick up their children at school,” Foxx said in the March 9 announcement.

Heavy rainfall has caused road embankments to erode along Interstate 220 in the Jackson area, a situation commonly referred to as sliding, the U.S. Department of Transportation said.

“The ground essentially gives way, or separates from the highway, as a result of extreme wetness,” the department said.

The federal funds will help the state stabilize the area and repair the roadbed, work that will cost an estimated $1 million, DOT said, adding that the work is necessary to prevent further damage to the interstate.

“These emergency funds will help state officials make immediate repairs necessary to restore critical transportation links,” said Dot’s Deputy Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “We are working closely with [the Mississippi Department of Transportation] to ensure there is no further damage,” he said.

The money will come from the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program, which reimburses states for emergency work done in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters or catastrophic events.

Mississippi is still assessing the cost of additional damage from the rainfall, DOT said.