The record-setting number of disasters in the United States this year caused a huge backlog of state requests for help from the federal government. From Stateline:
Some 39 states are waiting for money to help rebuild their disaster-damaged roads. The requests are stacking up. The Federal Highway Administration now has a backlog of more than $2 billion in requests, or 20 times the amount of money Congress sets aside every year for the agency’s Emergency Relief program.
For states struggling with budget problems, the backlog is yet another fiscal headache. It could delay repairs to damaged infrastructure, and it has already pushed back timelines on other projects. If nothing else, it means state officials must use creative approaches to ensure there is enough money to fix the roads. “States do get reimbursed,” says Nancy Singer, an agency spokeswoman. “But it may take some time.”