President Biden Declares Emergency As New Storms Floods California.
In recent weeks, California has been hit with a succession of storms, bringing heavy flooding to already waterlogged regions and threatening snowfalls of up to six feet (two meters).
The latest system was expected to bring “heavy lower-elevation rain, significant mountain snow, and strong winds,” with “another surge of Pacific moisture” expected Monday, the National Weather Service (NWS) said. Due to this, US President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in California.
The latest storm system has brought disastrous flooding across the lower Salinas River valley, a key agricultural region south of San Francisco Bay. The rising waters and unsuitable conditions resulted in a halt in the search for five-year-old Kyle Doan, who was swept away in floodwaters as his mother tried to pull him to safety from their car.
At least 19 people are known to have died from storm-related causes in the last three weeks. Among them were drivers found in submerged cars, people struck by falling trees, and a husband and wife killed in a rockfall.
Late on Saturday, Biden “declared that a major disaster exists in the State of California and ordered Federal aid to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides,” the White House said in a statement. The declaration makes federal funding available for relief to affected people, including temporary housing and repairs.
The storms of recent weeks were originally welcomed — coming after years of drought — but by now have brought “disastrous” flooding, officials have said. Nearly 26 million Californians remained under a flood watch Saturday evening, according to the NWS, with tens of thousands under evacuation orders and advisories.
Governor Gavin Newsom warned Californians that they were not in the clear yet: “We’re not done,” he said Saturday after visiting impacted residents. Urging them to remain vigilant, he said Californians should continue to exercise “common sense over the course of the next 24 to 48 hours.”
Leave a Reply