SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday declared a state of emergency in several Bay Area counties as well as other counties to support areas impacted by the recent winter storms.

The emergency proclamation applied to the counties of 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.

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According to a press statement, the proclamation supports response and recovery efforts and directs Caltrans to request immediate federal assistance for highway repairs or reconstruction. The declaration also streamlines access to jobless benefits for those unemployed as a result of the storms.

The director of the governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), Mark Ghilarducci, said Newsom’s order clears regulatory hurdles and increases the state’s capacity to rapidly respond to the impact of these storms and bolsters long term recovery.

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“For the last week, the team here at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has been coordinating the response to these storms on behalf of the state,” said Ghilarducci in a prepared statement. “We are also closely coordinating with and supporting the work of state partners like Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol, Cal Fire and others to rapidly respond to issues as they arise.”

In response to the record snowfall, Caltrans has redirected all available crews to the Sierra to reopen roadways, bringing operators from as far away as the Bay Area to assist. On Thursday, Caltrans urged drivers to avoid non-essential travel to the Sierra because of the record snowfall.

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The Cal OES Fire and Rescue Division is also prepositioning fire and rescue assets around burn scar areas ahead of upcoming storms and possible related mudflows or flash floods.