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California Asks Obama to Declare Soaked State a Disaster

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Today acting California Governor Abel Maldonado sent a detailed letter to the White House requesting that President Obama declare the state a "major disaster" in order to release federal funds to aid in the response to our recent run of wet and wild winter storms.

Having previously declared states of emergency in Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo and Tulare counties on December 21, in Kings, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties on December 23, and in Inyo and San Diego counties on December 24, the efforts in cleaning up after the storms and protecting lives and property from mudslides and debris flows, flooding, and other dangers seem to make headway just in time for another round of rains to move into the already soaked and reeling areas.

"Total projected costs for the statewide storms are unknown at this time due to local response focused activities and continuous storm conditions," wrote Maldonado. He cites California's "economic crisis" and "budget shortfall," in qualifying his request, adding:

I am specifically requesting Public Assistance (Categories A-G) for damages caused by severe winter storms, high winds, flooding and debris and mud flows. Additionally, for Individual Assistance, I am also requesting the Individuals and Households Program, Legal Services, Crisis Counseling Program, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration, U. S. Department of Agriculture Emergency Loan Program, statewide Hazard Mitigation and any other Stafford Act disaster assistance programs that may be appropriate for Inyo, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Tulare counties.
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The estimate for assistance needed in Los Angeles County alone is $6,440,000.