Joe Biden declares emergency in California amid storm-pounding


Washington: US president Joe Biden declared an emergency in California as storm systems are set to hit the state, bringing even more heavy flooding to already waterlogged regions. Joe Biden “declared that a major disaster exists in the State of California and ordered Federal aid to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides,” the White House said in a statement.

The National Weather Service warned, “Waves of heavy precipitation continue to batter California. Heavy rain will continue bringing the threat of flooding and mudslides/landslides. Hazardous travel due to heavy mountain snow and blowing snow from (California) to (Colorado).”

Emergency declaration makes federal funding available for relief to affected people, including temporary housing and repairs.

At least 19 people are known to have died from storm-related causes in the last three weeks.

The Salinas River has been overflowing its banks in many spots, AFP reported.

Governor Gavin Newsom warned that California was not in the clear yet, “We’re not done” urging people to remain vigilant and exercise “common sense over the course of the next 24 to 48 hours.”

Nearly 26 million Californians remained under a flood watch Saturday evening, according to the weather agency.

Rains have continued in California for the past three weeks with the Salinas Valley among the hardest hit.


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