Merced County prioritizing road repairs with emergency federal funds

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EMA announced on Sunday that disaster assistance has been made available to several counties across the Central Valley. (KFSN)

Merced County officials say when they get the aid, roads will be a priority, and they say there is damage countywide.

Officials say they don't have the money yet and are still making damage assessments. Potholes and crumbling roads are just some of the damage left behind after torrential rain soaked parts of the North Valley at the beginning of the year.

But Merced County officials are hoping to get some repairs done soon as federal aid could come trickling into the area.

"We're working with FEMA to further assess the cost of damages on a county-wide basis," Mike North with the county explained.

FEMA announced on Sunday that disaster assistance has been made available to several counties, including Merced and Mariposa Counties.

This comes after President Trump approved a major disaster declaration for California. Batt. Chief Jeremy Rahn says they've gone out with representatives from both FEMA and Cal OES to see affected sites.

However, he says they're still working on assessing storm damage from back in January.

"We are beginning what we call a kickoff meeting with FEMA and Cal OES to really get into the projects and damages that have been identified," Rahn said.

The county has yet to receive any FEMA funds from either storm as they're still logging damage and waiting to see how much they will be eligible to receive in federal funds.

"This would be huge in terms of repairing some of these roads that were washed out or roads that suffered potholes," North said.

County officials estimate initial damage costs from January at around $4 million, and the estimate for February storms could be anywhere from $7 million to $9 million.

County officials say when they do get the aid, 75 percent of damage costs could be paid by federal aid. Then 75 percent of what's left could be paid by Cal OES and the CDAA funding.

Officials plan to meet with both FEMA and Cal OES this week.

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donald trumpweatherstormstorm damagemerced countyMerced
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