California: PHOTOS: In Pajaro, Governor Newsom Meets with First Responders and State and Local Leaders
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PAJARO ~ Today, Governor Gavin Newsom visited the town of Pajaro to meet with state and local leaders and first responders who are working to support residents and repair a levee break that flooded the community late last week.

The state has provided personnel and resources to Monterey County to aid in flood fighting efforts, including three CalOES Swiftwater Rescue Teams, eight Cal Guard high-water vehicles, three CAL FIRE Damage Assessment Teams, a heavy lift helicopter, and additional crews from Cal Guard, CAL FIRE, the California Conservation Corps and the Department of Water Resources.

Governor Newsom stated that "Californians have shown time and time again their unmatched strength and drive to support one another during times of crisis." He also noted that the state will continue to work with local and federal partners to ensure this community gets the support it needs to recover and protect against flood risks.

In December 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorized a rebuild and enhancement of the flood risk reduction facilities on the Pajaro River and Salsipuedes Creek, as well as improvements to the levee system. In 2021 and 2022, Governor Newsom signed legislation by Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) which advanced funds for the Pajaro River Flood Risk Management Project in order to cover up to 100 percent of non-federal costs; reducing financial burden on the community. To date, $15 million has been provided for this project through its local levee assistance program and other support.

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State agencies are coordinating with local partners and non-profits in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties in order to shelter displaced residents regardless of immigration status; providing food banks with resources for unmet needs; distributing information on disaster assistance for immigrants; facilitating interpreter services for outreach to Indigenous communities; driving resources through community organizations that are mobilizing assistance; providing economic relief for farmworkers regardless of immigration status or storm damage; as well as issuing a Presidential Emergency Declaration authorizing federal assistance at Governor Newsom's request last week.

With storms forecasted through mid-March, Governor Newsom has proclaimed a state of emergency in 43 counties across California while continuing mobilization efforts towards impacted communities throughout the state.

Filed Under: Government, State

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