Plaskett Announces First Irma Relief Grants

Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett
Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett

Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett on Wednesday announced the immediate availability of $2 million for the repair or reconstruction of Federal-aid highways and roads and three other grants totaling $1.2 million for other recovery needs in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

“The catastrophic destruction caused by Hurricane Irma demands massive amounts of aid for our territory, if we are to address the overwhelming needs of the countless victims who face the daunting task of rebuilding their lives,” Plaskett said.

The $2 million in highway funds are immediately available to the USVI Department of Public Works for the repair and reconstruction of Federal-Aid Highways and Roads on Federal lands in the Virgin Islands that have suffered serious damage as a result of Hurricane Irma.”

The other three grants and their amounts are for:

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– Two grants worth a combined $350,000 have been awarded to Frederiksted Health Care and the St. Thomas East End Medical Center Corporation. The funds will be divided equally among the two entities.

– $927,000 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through the National Coastal Zone Management Program. It is concentrated on habitat protection, coastal hazards, habitat restoration, water quality, coastal community development, shoreline and harbor management, dredging and public access – all things needed in the efforts to recover from Hurricane Irma.

Plaskett. said the funds were awarded to the Virgin Islands because of the formal emergency declaration signed by President Trump and will go towards restoring essential traffic needed for recovery efforts, as well as permanent repairs necessary to restore the roadways to their pre-disaster condition.

She also commended the timing of the grants, which come during a period when the Virgin Islands are facing many extreme challenges. The grant monies will not only facilitate infrastructure improvement efforts, but will provide much needed jobs during the territory’s recovery.

“We are grateful for these grants as our islands begin the long and arduous process of recovery,” Plaskett said.

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