Jay Obernolte US Congressman Calif Eiighth District

WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressmen Jay Obernolte (CA-23) led his Congressional colleagues in calling for Governor Newsom to issue a state disaster declaration in response to historic winter storms. The official request for the governor to declare a State of Emergency for the mountain areas was signed by Reps. Kevin Kiley (CA-03), Ken Calvert (CA-41), Darrell Issa (CA-48), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Tom McClintock (CA-05), David Valadao (CA-22), Young Kim (CA-40), Michelle Steel (CA-45), John Duarte (CA-13) and Mike Garcia (CA-27).

“In order to ensure that these communities have all the resources they need to assure public health and safety, we ask you to make a statewide declaration of emergency that will allow assistance to be expedited to the affected areas. We, too, stand ready to assist in any way to help our fellow Californians return to normal,” said the members of Congress.

 “We are grateful for the work of the county public works department and CalTrans crews who have been working tirelessly to clear access to key routes for first responders to reach those who are stranded and need access to medical attention. It is critical that we act quickly to supplement those efforts,” the members continued in their official request to the Governor.

The historic winter storms that began on February 22 and are still ongoing have resulted in a multitude of blocked roads, stranded or trapped residents and visitors, collapsed buildings, and have left thousands of homes and businesses without electricity or access to critical lifesaving resources including fuel, medications, doctors, and even basic resources such as groceries. Access to local critical infrastructure has been cut off in many places, including in the unincorporated town of Crestline, where employees are struggling to reach the wastewater treatment facility. San Bernardino County declared a local state of emergency on February 27, but a disaster declaration is needed from the state to further bolster the aid available to effected communities.

See a PDF of the full letter here and read the text of the letter below:

Dear Governor Newsom:

 We write to urgently request that you declare a State of Emergency to assist in the response to the massive snowstorms that have impacted California’s mountain communities. Over the past few days, the state has experienced an unprecedented surge of winter storms that have engulfed Southern California, spanning the San Bernardino, Sierra Nevada, and San Gabriel Mountains. The magnitude of these weather systems has placed a severe strain on local governments’ ability to swiftly respond and protect public health and safety.

 The historic winter storms that began on February 22, 2023 and are still ongoing have resulted in a multitude of blocked roads, stranded or trapped residents and visitors, collapsed buildings, and have left thousands of homes and businesses without electricity or access to critical lifesaving resources including fuel, medications, doctors, and even basic resources such as groceries. Access to local critical infrastructure has been cut off in many places, including in the unincorporated town of Crestline, where employees are struggling to reach the wastewater treatment facility.

 San Bernardino County has declared a local state of emergency due to the exceptional snowfall the county has received. While this has provided additional resources to residents, including an emergency hotline and a shelter for those who are stranded away from their homes, more assistance is desperately needed, including additional snowplows, crews, equipment, medical supplies, and emergency support.

 We are grateful for the work of the county public works department and CalTrans crews who have been working tirelessly to clear access to key routes for first responders to reach those who are stranded and need access to medical attention. It is critical that we act quickly to supplement those efforts. Additional state resources can and must play a critical role in helping our fellow Californians recover from this surge of storms and regain access to essential infrastructure projects such as water sanitation plants and power plants. An emergency declaration will help these communities return to normalcy as quickly as possible.

 In order to ensure that these communities have all the resources they need to assure public health and safety, we ask you to make a statewide declaration of emergency that will allow assistance to be expedited to the affected areas. We, too, stand ready to assist in any way to help our fellow Californians return to normal. Thank you for your immediate attention and we look forward to working with you to address the many needs of these mountain communities

Discover more from Sierra Wave: Eastern Sierra News

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading