CLAY COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – The U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced Tuesday that the state of Mississippi will be reimbursed $18 million for extensive highway repairs.
The money is coming from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration to help repair roads damaged from recent floods.
The floodwaters may have receded months ago, but Clay County EMA Director Torrey Williams said repairs are still ongoing.
He hopes to see some of the Department of Transportation money flow into his county.
“The $18 million from the Department of Transportation has to go towards the state and federal roads pot, so to say. We’re still going through to figure out which roads actually on state and federal aid and which ones are not,” said Torrey Williams.
Eighteen million sounds like a lot of money, but with the state and several counties cutting from the same pie, the slices could be small.
“From what I understand, it goes by how much damage is reported in that county, and then they take a percentage of that. then the locals have to put a match into getting some of that money back,” said Williams.
Williams said FEMA is helping with some of their road and bridge repairs but not all of them.
“The different projects that we have, it just depends on if it’s a state aid road or a federal aid road. Then those dollars come from somewhere else, and if it’s a local road that the county or the city is responsible for that comes from a different pot,” said Williams.
He said the important thing is to continue to document everything.
“Sometimes, the state, it depends on what road It is sometimes the state will come and actually fix the road, instead of actually letting the locals fix it themselves. But if it’s something, sometimes, if it’s something that the locals have fixed already, then they will reimburse you for it, but you have to be sure that you cross your T’s and dot your I’s to get the money. And so we are really hoping that they open it up to us,” said Williams.
Tuesday’s funding is only a part of an overall emergency relief package totaling $871.2 million.