Garamendi Asks President Trump to Declare “Major Disaster” Following California Floods to Unlock Needed Recovery Resources

Mar 10, 2017 Issues: Transportation and Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Yuba City, Fairfield, Davis, CA) and other Members of the California Congressional delegation sent a bipartisan letter to President Donald Trump asking him to “rapidly declare a Presidential Declaration of Major Disaster for the State of California as a result of an atmospheric river storm system that affected the State of California from January 18 through January 23, 2017.” This declaration would immediately unlock federal resources for 16 counties that were not included in Governor Brown’s February 10th request, including Yolo and Sacramento. Assistance is available for communities that experienced flooding and flood infrastructure degradation.

“Most of the State of California experienced significant amounts of precipitation during this time, with some areas getting more than six inches of rainfall, and some areas of higher elevation receiving snowfall that equates to as much as thirteen inches of water equivalent,” the authors wrote. “This persistent heavy rainfall, occurring after years of drought, did not allow sufficient time for rivers, creeks, and streams to recover lower levels before acquiring more water. The increased water levels resulted in mud, dirt, and rock debris causing issues on local roads as well as damage to private property.”

A complete copy of the letter is below.

Other Members of Congress joining the letter include Representatives David Valadao, Tom McClintock, Ken Calvert, Devin Nunes, Paul Cook, Jim Costa, Duncan Hunter, Jeff Denham, Doug LaMalfa, Kevin McCarthy, and Jimmy Panetta.

“I represent one of the most flood prone regions in the country, and the rains we’ve seen this winter have tested the limits of our flood control systems and severely damaged transportation networks,” Garamendi added. “A Declaration of Major Disaster is a needed first step to help us rebuild. When disaster strikes, we come together as Americans. Ultimately, we need major investments at the state and federal levels to shore up our levees, repair our dams, and direct excess water to storage. Let’s think proactively to prevent crises instead of just responding to them.”

Letter to President Trump Requesting a Declaration of Major Disaster for the State of California

March 9, 2017

The Honorable Donald J. Trump

President of the United States

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20500

 

President Trump:

We thank you for your support in providing the California with federal assistance for storm events earlier this year. There have been numerous storm events since our latest communication, and would like to follow up with a request that you rapidly declare a Presidential Declaration of Major Disaster for the State of California as a result of an atmospheric river storm system that affected the State of California from January 18 through January 23, 2017. Under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, a declaration would immediately direct federal resources to areas across the state impacted by this storm system.

The atmospheric river system that swept through California on January 18 through January 23, 2017 brought a series of several storms causing disruption and destruction across the state. This storm followed a previous storm system that occurred January 3 through January 12, 2017. Most of the State of California experienced significant amounts of precipitation during this time, with some areas getting more than six inches of rainfall, and some areas of higher elevation receiving snowfall that equates to as much as thirteen inches of water equivalent.

This persistent heavy rainfall, occurring after years of drought, did not allow sufficient time for rivers, creeks, and streams to recover lower levels before acquiring more water. The increased water levels resulted in mud, dirt, and rock debris causing issues on local roads as well as damage to private property.

On February 28, the Governor of California proclaimed a state of emergency for 16 counties in the state. A Presidential Disaster Declaration would immediately allow federal aid to be made available to support cleanup efforts and other infrastructure improvements and repairs needed as a result of the destruction caused by the latest storm.

We ask that you act rapidly in order to ensure that appropriate federal agencies are able to provide immediate assistance. Thank you for your consideration and we appreciate the timely response to this request.

 

Regards,

John Garamendi

David Valadao

Ken Calvert

Paul Cook

Jim Costa

Jeff Denham

Doug LaMalfa

Kevin McCarthy

Jimmy Panetta