The U.S. Department of Transportation is making $1 million in quick release emergency funds immediately available to the Iowa Department of Transportation to begin repairs to roads and bridges damaged by continuous flooding that began on June 1.

"Iowans' lives have been severely affected by these floods," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Emergency relief will help the state make repairs to roads and bridges more quickly and restore a sense of normalcy to communities across the state."

The flooding has forced the closure of several key roads, such as Iowa 5 in Appanoose County and Iowa 136 in Jones County, and caused substantial damage to highways in more than 51 counties throughout the state.

"Making these emergency funds available quickly is critical to helping the state recover from its significant flood damage," Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez said. "Hopefully, this aid will help restore areas that have been disrupted by the flooding."

The emergency funds will be used to restore essential traffic and protect roads from further damage. The estimated costs of repair to damaged roads and bridges is at nearly $9 million.