SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Rising storm costs are forcing Northern California counties, including some in the Bay Area, to turn to the state for help as they declare local states of emergency.
Sonoma, Lake and Tehama Counties are about to make declarations on which will allow local emergency workers to help with recovery and lays the groundwork for state and federal assistance.
Meanwhile, the Marin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to proclaim a state of emergency because of the severe impact of recent storms that began December 10, including a levee breach in Novato on December 11.
The declaration allows the County to apply for state and federal aid to help pay for repairs. County Administrator Matthew Hymel told the Supervisors that it was necessary to take a formal step to aid the County as it seeks financial assistance after estimates to take emergency stabilization measures and final repairs reached up to $1 million late Monday.
Sonoma County estimates its loss at $17 million, primarily due to flooding in Healdsburg and along the Russian River.
Healdsburg’s firefighters had to sleep in their engine bays because their station’s sleeping quarters had flooded.
City Hall was closed and the city estimates 150 businesses were either damaged or impacted due to road closures.
Brad Alexander, from the California’s Office of Emergency Services, told KCBS that the state has endured a number of emergencies this year, from wildfires to the Napa earthquake to mudslides.
“Our approach to any disaster looks pretty similar. The way that we problem solve, the resource request process—it’s all streamlined so it happens the same way, whatever the disaster is calling for,” he said.
Meanwhile, Napa and Alameda counties say they will cover their own storm costs; San Francisco and Marin are still evaluating.
More rain is likely this week, with storms poised to hit Tuesday night and Friday.
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