LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a state of emergency for both Los Angeles County and Orange County in response to the winter storms that have affected California over recent weeks. The storms have caused destruction, flooding and a countless number of road closures across the state, prompting emergency responses from cleanup crews and recover efforts.
The statement, which can be viewed in its entirety here, issued an official State of Emergency for several California counties, including: Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Humboldt, Lake, Los Angeles, Marin, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Sierra, and Yuba Counties.
Retroactive to the first winter storm, which hit California on December 10, followed by a storm on December 16 and yet another on December 21, Newsom's statement indicated that several crucial elements of life were affected statewide, including communications, power outages, fallen trees and limbs, highway and road obstruction and structural damage to countless buildings.
The statement also references the high number of mud and debris flows which struck, especially in burn scar areas following a high amount of wildfires that struck California in 2020 and 2021.
As regions begin recovery efforts, they are ordered access to multiple state resources under the California Disaster Assistance Act, as the statement expanded allowance to these resources to any counties included in the state of emergency.
"IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
1. All agencies of the state government utilize and employ state personnel, equipment and facilities for the performance of any and all activities consistent with the direction of the Office of Emergency Services and the State Emergency Plan. Also, all residents are to obey the direction of emergency officials with regard to this emergency in order to protect their safety."
Governor Newsom also ordered appropriate assistance from the Office of Emergency Services, and for the California Department of Transportation to formally request immediate assistance from government, trhough the Federal Highway Administration's Emergency Relief Program, as they begin to repair or reconstruct highways/roadways that were damaged in the fallout.
On Wednesday, state officials indicated that Caltrans had deployed over 1,300 staff members working 24-hour rotating shifts to keep roads open and assist communities that were directly impacted by the heavy storms. They have also issued over 600 snowplows to clear roadways, and cleared hundreds of fallen trees, on top of assistance to countless stranded motorists.
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