Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to California businesses and residents affected by severe storms and flooding that occurred Feb. 1-25, 2017, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Administrator Linda McMahon announced today. SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster in response to a request SBA received from Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr.’s designated representative, Mark S. Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, on March 17, 2017.
The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Alameda, Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Monterey, Napa, Plumas, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Yolo and Yuba counties in California; and Washoe County in Nevada.
“SBA is strongly committed to providing California with the most effective and customer-focused response possible, and we will be there to provide access to federal disaster loans to help … continue reading »
SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to aid with repairs to the damaged Oroville Dam spillway and to bolster state and local recovery efforts following February storms that caused major flooding, levee breeches, the evacuation of residents, power outages and extensive damage to roads and bridges across California.
Governor Brown today also issued an emergency proclamation adding Contra Costa and Solano counties to the 48 other counties included in his March 7, 2017 State of Emergency due to storms in February.
Today’s request follows three other separate Presidential Major Disaster Declaration requests – granted last month and last week – to support the response efforts for the situation at the Oroville Dam, impacts of the early January storm system and impacts of the late January storm system. In addition, Governor Brown has issued emergency declarations … continue reading »
So, you may have seen references to PDA’s but aren’t sure what they are. In the world of emergency management, it’s the abbreviation for Preliminary Damage Assessments (c’mon, you know everything in government must have an abbreviation or acronym.) That’s exactly what’s happening right now in areas around the state that have suffered damage from the winter storms that began in December 2016, and continued to kick California around through February; and they may not be over just yet.
For the governor to declare a state of emergency, and for a possible presidential disaster proclamation and receive financial help from the federal government, the state must know what reasonable damage and repair cost estimates are. Both state and federal representatives conduct PDA’s.
The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services pre-positioned nine Swiftwater Search and Rescue teams throughout the state as a precautionary measure with another significant storm pounding Northern California. The teams are currently staged in the counties of Butte, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, Stanislaus, and Merced.
The pre-positioning of these specialized resources is a proactive measure to protect lives and provide rapid response to requests for assistance from local government during the current storms. Teams are deployed as part of the Cal OES Fire & Rescue Mutual Aid system, which is a neighbor helping neighbor sharing of resources.
“The pre-deployment is a move by Cal OES to be proactive in our ability to protect lives in the event that the resources are needed and to decrease the response time for specialized resources that we have available,” said Brian Woodbeck, … continue reading »
This winter the California Sierras saw massive amounts of snow thanks to recent storms. The Lake Tahoe area and Highway 50 was especially impacted by many feet of snow and Caltrans was ready with operations to keep traffic moving and travelers safe.
With the increase in snow came an increase in travelers on the highways out to take advantage of the fresh powder on the mountains. We often travel highways all year round not knowing exactly what is taking place behind the scenes to help us get to our destination safely. This years storms had Caltrans hard at work around the clock to prevent avalanches from impacting Highway 50 and its motorists.
The Caltrans avalanche control crew is the team that gets the job done when it comes to getting ahead of avalanche risk that … continue reading »
The odds are increasing that winter storms associated with El Niño are having a significant impact on California’s historic drought. The question is whether it will be enough to modify water restrictions or possibly even lower the drought severity.
Uncertainty of just how much of an impact the storms had, or will have as winter progresses, will likely linger into spring, according to Jay Lund, Director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis.
Despite steady rain and snow over the past several weeks, many areas in California are still below normal for precipitation and snow for the current water year, which began Oct. 1.
“Unless we get a really big flood, we won’t really know the drought condition until about April 1, roughly the end of the wet season,” Lund said.
The recovery process will be slow … continue reading »
SACRAMENTO – Department of Water Resources snow surveyors today found the Sierra snowpack boosted by late-season storms, but still far below normal as the spring melt fast approaches. Coupled with this winter’s scant rainfall, the meager snowpack — containing only 32 percent of average water content for the date – promises a gloomy summer for California farms and many communities.
“We’re already seeing farmland fallowed and cities scrambling for water supplies,” said DWR Director Mark Cowin. “We can hope that conditions improve, but time is running out and conservation is the only tool we have against nature’s whim.”
After a bone dry December and January, February and March storms brought some promise to the state, but have not broken the drought’s three-year grip as reservoirs, rainfall totals and the snowpack remain critically low. Today’s … continue reading »