County Supervisors Ratify Emergency Declaration for Storm Damage

Significant rain and storm conditions rolled through San Diego in January 2023. Photo via @CityofSanDiego Twitter

San Diego County Supervisors Wednesday unanimously ratified an emergency declaration to deal with the severe damage caused by a series of winter storms. San Diego County supervisors Wednesday unanimously ratified an emergency declaration to deal with the severe damage caused by a series of winter storms.

Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer issued the emergency declaration Tuesday, which will allow the county to seek federal and state money to help residents affected by heavy rain storms that occurred in late December and earlier this month.

According to a staff report Wednesday, the county suffered $3.04 million in damage to buildings and roads from flooding, numerous mud slides and erosion.

“Over the past month, we’ve seen rainfall total reach up to 8 inches at our coasts, and over 24 inches in our mountains,” said Jeff Toney, Office of Emergency Services director.

While such a downpour is great to ease the state’s drought, it has wreaked havoc otherwise, said Toney, who added that the county has received some 50 damage claims from residents.

On Jan. 4, Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency, and President Biden also declared one for three California counties, although San Diego was not among them.

Because the county must show $14.6 million in damages to meet certain funding requirements, “as we stand today, there is uncertainty on the level of assistance that we may receive,” Toney said.

While the county could receive some state funding, that doesn’t help individuals, Toney said. He added that the county will pursue other funding sources.

Along with ratifying the declaration, supervisors were asked to “find that there continues to be the need for multiple agencies to combine forces to address public health and safety in response to the winter storms, and … there is a need for continuing the local emergency until no longer needed subject to statutory review requirements,” according to an agenda document.

— City News Service