We’re in the thick of hurricane season for the country’s coastal states, but storms and resulting floods have already cost the United States approximately $1.2 billion in damages, according to the Associated Press (AP). The data was pulled from preliminary assessments of public infrastructure categories by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Numbers for some states will likely increase even more because full damage assessments have not been completed. Damages stemming from natural disasters in California, Iowa, Nebraska and Tennessee currently account for the highest costs. The Army Corps of Engineers expects repairs to levees in the Missouri River basin to amount to $1 billion.
While FEMA funds a large part of infrastructure repairs caused by natural disasters, states are taking matters into their own hands. Iowa has put $15 million into a separate fund aimed at fixing flood damages and preparing for future disasters.
Arkansas has put aside $10 million to help with damaged levees in the state. Missouri has invested $2 million in the construction of a floodwall along the Mississippi River in Clarksville.
In federal funding news, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced a new round of research grants totaling $6.6 million that will be used to conduct research into structural resilience in the face of natural disasters. The 12 grants were given to 11 organizations. Texas Tech University received two of them, worth $1.2 million.
Recipients will use the grants to study how earthquakes, wind and fire affect building techniques, codes, standards and more.