President Joe Biden approved additional aid for California on Thursday, authorizing an increase in federal funding for emergency work in areas hit by flooding and landslides caused by several storms affecting the state.
Federal assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance from the Public Assistance Program, will be increased to 100% of eligible costs for 60 days of the duration of the incident.
Biden has been visiting damaged areas and learning about rescue efforts after the devastating storm left at least 20 dead and destruction in 41 of the state’s 58 counties.
The president is visiting the storm-damaged Capitola Pier in Santa Cruz County, along with Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Dean Creswell, Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state and local officials, where they are meeting with business owners and affected residents.
Biden will also meet with first responders and make remarks supporting the state’s recovery at nearby Seacliff State Park. More than 500 FEMA and other federal personnel have deployed to California to support emergency response operations.
“There has been a lot of trauma in this community and it is very important that we keep that in mind. These communities have lost lives, they have lost well-being and livelihoods, and I think it is incredibly important that they know that the President is here for him and that the entire force of the federal family is going after him.” said FEMA spokeswoman D.N. Criswell.
According to the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center, the entire state of California received an average of 11.47 inches of rain and snow from December 26 to January 17, with some reports of up to 15 feet of snow falling over the three-week period. High altitudes of the Sierra Nevada.
California gets most of its winter rain and snow from weather phenomena known as “atmospheric rivers,” which are long, narrow bands of water vapor that form over the ocean and drift across the sky.
The state has been affected by nine atmospheric rivers since late December. Storms have subsided in recent days, although forecasters were predicting light rain later this week, followed by dry weather.