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Morro Bay receives final emergency relief payout from 2023 storms 

The Morro Bay Public Works Department announced it received a final emergency relief payout of more than $270,000 from the Federal Highway Association (FHWA) for road repairs after the storms of 2023.

click to enlarge MOVING FORWARD Morro Bay has received the final emergency relief payout for road repairs after the 2023 storms. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CITY OF MORRO BAY
  • Photo Courtesy Of City Of Morro Bay
  • MOVING FORWARD Morro Bay has received the final emergency relief payout for road repairs after the 2023 storms.

Those storms damaged 43 of California's 58 counties, including San Luis Obispo County, and left Morro Bay's Radcliff Avenue, Main Streeet, Embarcadero, and South Bay Boulevard in need of repair.

Morro Bay Senior Civil Engineer Austin Della submitted the final invoice for reimbursement and said the city had applied for and received the funds because the roads fall under FHWA jurisdiction.

In total, the city was reimbursed $274,675 for the repairs after months of preparing invoices, Della told New Times.

The largest road repair was South Bay Boulevard, which cost about half of the reimbursement. The road required shoulder repair after being wiped out by 4 inches of rainfall in early March of 2023—when Morro Bay had declared a local emergency.

City Engineer Cindy Cecil said the city has completed other repair and replacement projects after the 2023 storms and is continuing to improve its storm drainage system for any future unexpected floods.

When comparing photos of the damage to the now repaired areas, Cecil said the contrast is notable.

"The city is doing what we can to be as prepared as possible," she said.

Residents and business owners were forced to evacuate Main Street extending to the south and north bridges during the March 2023 storms. The swift floods carried logs and even refrigerators down streets.

"The city of Morro took swift action to address the aftermath," a city press release read, adding that this final reimbursement was a "significant milestone for the city."

The FHWA offered $4.6 million in relief funding for counties in need of quick road and bridge repair under its jurisdiction. The roads needed to meet certain criteria caused by natural disaster—severe damage occurring over a wide area resulting in unusually high expenses.

The $4.6 million was in addition to the $29.4 million previously allocated by the FHWA for storm damage that occurred earlier that year.

"These 'quick release' emergency relief funds are an initial installment of funds to help restore essential transportation," the FHWA states on its website. "Additional funds needed to repair damages to roads and bridges in California will be supported by the emergency relief program through nationwide funding allocations." Δ

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