Oregon will receive $37 million in grants through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Emergency Relief program as reimbursement for repairs it made to infrastructure on public lands damaged by the severe winter weather and acts of nature, according to a press release from U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee with U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden.
Of the $37 million, nearly $11.3 million will cover repairs the state made after the 2017 wildfires, $10.5 million will cover repairs to infrastructure that received severe winter storm damage, more than $11 million will cover repairs required after storms and flooding dating back to 2011, and another $4.3 million will reimburse the state for repairs it made to damage caused by a rockslide and the 2015 wildfires in Eastern Oregon.
“Since the devastating wildfires last summer, I’ve been pressuring the administration, Congressional leadership, and my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to make sure Oregon’s impacted communities aren’t forgotten,” Merkley said in the press release. “I’m glad we’re finally getting the resources we need to repair the damage from the fires and other disasters so Oregon can continue to prosper.”
“The huge wildfires that tore through Oregon last year are natural disasters, just like the severe winter weather that damaged highways on federal lands in our state,” Wyden said in the press release. “I am gratified that my work with Senator Merkley and Governor Brown has earned this emergency response to help Oregonians and their communities to recover from these disasters.”
“Oregon continues to face new challenges caused by intensifying wildfires and worsening drought and flood conditions each year,” said Governor Kate Brown in the press release. “We’ve prioritized state resources to minimize the impacts these disasters have on our economy and natural habitats, and appreciate all additional federal resources that contribute to long-term recovery and economic resilience of our local communities.”