Federal highway funds are starting to flow to flood-battered North Carolina and more dollars are likely to follow, both to that state and others in the Southeast.


U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told reporters on Oct. 12 that his department that day had released $5 million in emergency relief highway aid to North Carolina to repair flood-damaged roads.


“We are monitoring the situation very carefully with our partners in the various states,” Foxx said.


Foxx added, “We will support the other states in a like manner.” He said states’ requests for emergency road funds are sent to the U.S. Department of Transportation and officials process those applications “as quickly as we can”


He said that other states in the region, such as Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, also may seek post-Matthew federal highway aid. “They’re probably assessing and trying to figure out what to ask for. But we will, of course, do everything we can,” Foxx said in the briefing, which also covered a wide range of other topics.


In a statement released later on Oct. 12, Foxx noted that the emergency North Carolina aid is “just a down payment on the department’s commitment to reconnect people with vital services they need to begin the process of putting their lives back together.”


Gregory Nadeau, head of the Federal Highway Administration, added that the $5 million to North Carolina is “quick release” funding and is aimed at near-term repairs “which can make long-term repair work possible in the weeks ahead.”