Transcript: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s remarks on Hurricane Sandy
Transcript of remarks by Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Hurricane Sandy at a press briefing on Oct. 31, 2012:
Thank you very much. The President has directed us to immediately do all we can to support our state and local partners as they work to restore vital transportation infrastructure following this unprecedented and dangerous storm.
And that is exactly what we’re doing.
Yesterday, less than 24 hours after [Hurricane] Sandy made landfall, as a part of the extensive federal effort to being coordinated by FEMA, DOT [Department of Transportation] issued $13 million in quick release emergency relief funds immediately available – $10 million to New York and $3 million to Rhode Island. The $13 million is our first installment of Federal Highway Administration funds to states in the affected areas to help begin repairing damage to roads, highways, seawalls, bridges and tunnels.
We expect other states to apply for emergency relief funding in the coming days, and we will immediately address these requests as they come in.
Restoring critical infrastructure is essential to enabling states and local first responders and relief workers to assess the impact of communities. These are repairs that are immediately necessary so that residents can begin to resume daily activities.
The funding answers the President’s call for agencies to act quickly to help the affected states. But it’s not all that we are doing.
We’re doing all we can to get transit service up and running, and obviously, that is a top priority in the affected states and cities.
The Federal Transit Administration is coordinating efforts to try and get equipments, like buses and railcars, into impacted areas so that services can resume as quickly as possible.
Our Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a declaration of regional emergency notice to temporarily lift certain requirements to regulations to make it easier for trucks to provide emergency relief and supplies.
These are just some of the actions we’re taking, and it’s just the beginning.
All of us at DOT are committed and we’re ready to help restore transportation in the affected states.
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