The federal government continues to pour emergency response and disaster-related funds into the U.S. Virgin Islands, with Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett announcing on Friday that — aside from the $1.6 billion announcement made by Governor Kenneth Mapp and Department of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.) Secretary Ben Carson earlier this week — the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) made their own announcements regarding additional funding.
The Dept. of Transportation announced $15 million in emergency relief funds to help the territory repair roads and bridges damaged by storms and floods from Hurricane Irma and Maria.
“These funds are a commitment from the federal government who continues to stand with the U.S. Virgin Islands which of course was severely impacted by two devastating hurricanes,” Ms. Plaskett said in a statement. “The funding announced today will serve the traveling public by reimbursing local communities that have made repairs to damaged critical surface transportation infrastructure.
Separately, FEMA announced two grants to the territory to aid with hurricane recovery efforts. The first grant is for $4.6 million to the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) for emergency protective measures as a result the 2017 hurricanes. And the second provides over $32 million to VITEMA for emergency protective measures related to Hurricane Irma, according the Ms. Plaskett.
“These two important grants will benefit the Virgin Islands tremendously with our ongoing rebuilding efforts making the Virgin Islands whole again after experiencing two devastating hurricanes,” Ms. Plaskett said. “The United States government and the international community has an obligation to work with the affected local governments to restore infrastructure, provide critical humanitarian assistance, and help recover and build back our islands.”