LANSING — Funding from the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program could soon be on its way to help repair roads in Gogebic County damaged by last month’s severe storms, thanks to an official request from state officials. The affected areas include portions of Lake Road along Lake Superior as well as various culverts within the county.
“I saw firsthand the devastation that this 1,000-year storm event brought to portions of Gogebic County,” Gov. Snyder said. “The Michigan National Guard did exceptional work in helping to re-establish emergency access for residents, but this federal support is critical for long-term permanent fixes to the road devastation in this remote area of the state before winter arrives.”
The Michigan Department of Transportation sent the request to begin the formal application process on July 28, along with a copy of Gov. Snyder’s July 15 disaster declaration outlining the severe damage inflicted by the storm.
In part, the letter of intent states:
Under provisions of Title 23, U.S.C., Section 125, this is notice of intent by the Michigan Department of Transportation to request emergency relief funds to assist in the cost of repairing damages on Federal-aid highways in Michigan caused by the severe weather, intense rain, straight-line winds, and a tornado in Gogebic County, Michigan, on July 12, 2016.
The Gogebic County Road Commission, MDOT and the State Emergency Operations Center have been working diligently to compile disaster assessments, which will outline the exact amount of funding needed for full repairs. Those assessments will then be transmitted to the federal government.
The state of Michigan did not meet the required $13.9 million statewide damages threshold to be eligible for a federal disaster declaration. Gov. Snyder continues to explore options to help Gogebic County communities recover and rebuild after the July storms and flash flooding.