August 19, 2016 10:25 AM, EDT

FHWA Will Provide $2 Million in Emergency Funds for Flooded Louisiana

Louisiana National Guard

The Federal Highway Administration will make $2 million in emergency funds immediately available to help Louisiana fix transportation infrastructure damaged in floods this month.

“The situation in Louisiana is critical, with tens of thousands evacuated from their homes and cut off from vital transportation links,” Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said in announcing the flood relief. “This natural disaster has been reported to be the worst to hit our nation since Superstorm Sandy — and many residents still face life-threatening conditions. We are doing everything we can at the U.S. DOT to help.”

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency in the wake of the record rain that began on Aug. 11 and the subsequent flooding that extended to 20 parishes (akin to counties). The water is still rising in some areas.

“These emergency funds will help the state begin repairs immediately so people can access essential services and get the assistance they need,” Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau said. “They represent the first installment of federal resources available to Louisiana to reopen all roads.”

According to FHWA, the $2 million “quick release” payment is intended to pay for the repair of roads and bridges, stabilize structures to prevent further damage and set up detours until permanent repairs are completed. Long-term repair costs are estimated to exceed $10 million in Louisiana as flood waters recede.