Five months after Hurricane Irma rattled Brevard County, Kennedy Space Center is receiving money to repair launch and other facilities damaged by the storm.
The federal budget deal signed Feb. 9 by President Donald Trump included $81 million for KSC and Johnson Space Center in Houston, which Hurricane Harvey drenched last August.
NASA could not immediately break down how much each center would receive.
KSC was fortunate not to sustain major structural damage last Sept. 10 from Irma’s sustained winds of 60 mph and gusts around 90 mph.
The storm’s westward shift spared the Space Coast from its strongest winds.
Still, numerous spaceport facilities suffered damaged roofs, windows and siding and water intrusion. The center closed for a week, partly because a lack of potable water after the Cocoa water system lost pressure.
Affected KSC infrastructure included the 525-foot Vehicle Assembly Building, launch pad 39B and several other buildings involved in booster or payload processing that needed roof or structural repairs, NASA said.
“KSC has done some temporary repairs and other emergency mitigation work, but most permanent repair projects have been on hold pending receipt of the disaster funding,” said Tracy Young, a KSC spokeswoman.
The NASA allocation was part of a more than $89 billion disaster assistance package approved to assist Florida, Puerto Rico and other areas recovering from the 2017 hurricane season.
KSC still is rebounding from Hurricane Matthew in 2016, which caused more than $100 million in damage. The center received $75 million in emergency funding after that storm, not enough to cover the cost of building dunes to protect launch pads or $25 million sought to harden structures against future storms.
The Irma recovery funds arrive less than four months before the start of the next hurricane season running from June 1 through Nov. 30.
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