California state of emergency over storm damage
Governor Jerry Brown late Monday declared a state of emergency for counties across California to help deal with damage from powerful December and January storms.
Drought-stricken California was hard-hit by rainstorms that struck in early December, and high winds and heavy rains from a storm that began in early January and continued through the weekend.
"I find that conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property exist due to the storm damage," Brown said.
Brown ordered Caltrans — the state agency responsible for highway, bridge, and rail transportation — to "formally request immediate assistance through the Federal Highway Administration's Emergency Relief Program."
He also directed California's Office of Emergency Services "to provide assistance to local governments."
Both storm systems "caused dangerous flash flooding, erosion, and substantial mud and debris flows."
While officials are still assessing the scope of damage caused by the storms, early estimates are in the "tens of millions of dollars."
The measure covers 50 of the California's 58 counties.
While the storms brought heavy rain and snow in the mountains, officials do not believe that this will end the state's historic drought.
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