BOSTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be sending more than $2.6 million to the State of Rhode Island to reimburse the Rhode Island Department of Transportation for some of the costs of plowing and treating roads after Winter Storm Kenan in January 2022.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation will receive a total of $2,634,921 in federal funding through FEMA’s Public Assistance grant program to reimburse it for the costs of snow plowing and other steps taken after the January 28-29 “bomb cyclone” produced blizzard conditions in some parts of New England.
Kenan caused record or near record snowfall in all five counties in Rhode Island. This created an immediate threat to the health and safety of the public and improved property, requiring emergency response and protective measures.
The grant will reimburse RIDOT for 6,502 overtime hours worked by state employees and for contracting for services between Saturday, Jan. 29 and Monday, Jan. 31, during which time the state treated, plowed, salted, sanded and deiced a total of 3,185 lane miles of roads.
The state will also be reimbursed part of the cost of roadside assistance, emergency traffic control, towing, equipment repair and emergency snow removal.
President Joe Biden’s disaster declaration made federal funding available to state, tribal and eligible local governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of damaged facilities in Bristol, Kent, Newport, Providence, and Washington Counties, including the Narragansett Indian Tribe.
FEMA has awarded almost $7.4 million in Public Assistance grants to state and local governments for the disaster to date.
“FEMA is pleased to be able to reimburse the Rhode Island Department of Transportation for the costs incurred recovering from Winter Storm Kenan,” said FEMA Region 1 Regional Administrator Lori Ehrlich. “Re-opening highways for public safety vehicles required extraordinary measures deserving of federal assistance.”
FEMA’s Public Assistance program is an essential source of funding for states and communities recovering from a federally declared disaster or emergency.