President Biden on Saturday declared a major disaster in California after the state was hit with massive winter storms, with more rainfall, flooding and damage expected this week.
Biden directed federal aid to support state, tribal and local recovery efforts and to help individuals in affected areas, including Sacramento, Santa Cruz and Merced, with grants for temporary housing and loans to offset property losses, among other programs.
“Thank you, @POTUS for having the back of Californians as we continue to be impacted by intense winter storms,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote on Twitter after the White House announced Biden’s disaster declaration.
The governor urged Californians to stay alert as more stormy conditions are expected to sweep through the area in the coming days.
“Serious winds and rain are still anticipated throughout the state. Stay safe and remain vigilant,” Newsom cautioned.
Winter storms have pelted California with heavy rain, wind and snow since late December, causing hazardous landslides and widespread power outages, and prompting evacuation orders. At least 19 people have died due to the storm.
Though California has long been concerned about drought, the storm has brought a temporary reprieve.
On Sunday, Biden also approved an emergency declaration for the state of Alabama due to severe storms and tornadoes.