September 23, 2017
President issues disaster declaration for California
SACRAMENTO--President Trump issued a major disaster declaration Thursday that will trigger federal funding for California following an estimated $113 million in damage from late January storms in the state.

Gov. Jerry Brown sought the presidential disaster declaration, marking the third granted by the president in just over a month.

Trump previously approved Brown’s request for aid for the Oroville Dam spillway damage and mass evacuations and to help the state deal with the widespread effects storms in early January.

Thursday’s declaration will help the state pay for damage caused by storms, flooding and mudslides from Jan. 18 to Jan. 23 in El Dorado, Kern, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Napa, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Trinity, Tuolumne, and Yolo counties. In his letter requesting the declaration and aid, Brown wrote that the storms in late January resulted in areas receiving substantial rainfall and snowfall within an atmospheric river that left numerous creeks, rivers and streams flooding and levees over-topping and breaching.

“Heavy winds and severe rainfall caused widespread power outages throughout the affect jurisdictions, leaving an estimated 55,000 households and businesses without power,” Brown wrote in his letter to Trump.

Many roads were flooded and an avalanche closed State Routes 88 and 89 in the greater Lake Tahoe area. Emergency shelters were opened to help displaced residents and six storm-related fatalities in three counties were reported.

Brown wrote that the “atmospheric river storm system is of such severity and magnitude, it is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments and supplemental federal assistance is necessary.”

In announcing the disaster declaration was granted, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) wrote that “additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.” (Source: The San Francisco Chronicle)
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