US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced $17m in quick-release emergency relief funds for the states of New York, Rhode Island and North Carolina to restore roads that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

This announcement comes after President Obama called upon the federal agencies to bring all available resources in order to provide immediate assistance to states impacted by the devastating hurricane.

Of the $17m state-requested funds, $10m is being allocated to New York, $4m to North Carolina and the remaining $3m to Rhode Island.

In addition to rebuilding roads, bridges and tunnels in the three states, Rhode Island will use the funds to repair the seawalls supporting roadways. North Carolina will repair the damage along the coast in Dare County in the Outer Banks area, where parts of US 158 and NC 12 are shut down.

The DOT expects other states impacted by the storm to also apply for emergency relief funding in the next few days.

New York and Rhode Island were the first two states to request assistance from the DOT, followed by North Carolina.

The emergency funds are provided by the DOT’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funds.

"The emergency funds are provided by the DOT’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funds."

Assessments will be taken up across the north-eastern parts of the country to analyse the extent of the damage.

LaHood said that the emergency relief funds are a down payment on the government’s commitment to all of the states impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

During a conference call with officials from 14 impacted states, LaHood outlined the steps taken by the department to assist states.

The plan includes an Eastern Regional Emergency Declaration from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to temporarily remove hours-of-service requirements and ease regulations in order to help interstate motor carrier drivers and operators offering emergency relief.