Pres. Biden approves California Disaster Declaration, Planada residents prepare for more rain

Jessica Harrington Image
Sunday, January 15, 2023
Pres. Biden approves California Disaster Declaration, Planada residents prepare for more rain
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President Biden has declared a major disaster in the state of California.

MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- President Joe Biden has declared a major disaster in the state of California.

The declaration orders federal aid to supplement the state and local recovery efforts in areas that were impacted by the storms.

During his visit to Merced County Saturday, Governor Gavin Newsom said the declaration will help get people back on their feet.

He said it will also help in the recovery process for many others in the area who are still cleaning up.

Martin Ceha and a handful of friends and family members were hard at work at his parents house late Saturday night in Planada.

"Everything had to go. The whole house had to go," Ceha said while standing in his parents empty living room.

His parents have been on vacation in Mexico, so he and his siblings rushed to the home when they heard about the flooding earlier this week.

"We couldn't save anything," Ceha said.

Dirt and grass on the wall shows just how high the water got inside.

For the last few days, they've been working around the clock to clear it out and clean it up.

A few streets away, the Martinez family was preparing for more rain and potential flooding.

Earlier this week, water got inside their home and on the carpet.

Late Saturday night, President Biden formally declared a major disaster in California opening the door to federal aid for those who have been hit the hardest.

The governor explained prior to the announcement how the declaration could help those people and businesses who were directly impacted.

These direct relief, the direct payments, the SBA loans the other things that can present themselves is what we're trying to work on and provide it, to the extent we can statewide and these counties that have been affected." Newsom said.

Assembly member Esmeralda Soria says top of mind are the kids who are out of school because of flood damage.

"We did make the plea today that he provide some flexibility with the department of education to ensure that kids get some instruction over the coming weeks," Soria said.

The governor reminded people to stay vigilant and listen to the warnings from officials until these storms have passed.

"Let's get through this. We will get through this and we'll come out on the other side more resilient," Newsom said. The process to qualify for the major disaster aid hasn't been made clear yet.

Earlier Saturday, the governor suggested people start totaling up the damage from the storm and make sure you keep any receipts for repairs so you'll be ready for the process.