Local representatives are calling on Gov. Jerry Brown to declare parts of the San Gabriel Valley a disaster area following last week’s Santa Ana winds. This would qualify the cities affected by the winds to apply for state funds to assist in efforts for both cleanup and recovery.
“The winds that ravaged the Southland and our San Gabriel Valley have left untold misery and suffering, and the San Gabriel Valley was ground zero for this terrible event,” Representative Judy Chu said in a statement. “The fact is we have millions and millions of dollars and several months of cleanup and repairs left ahead of us…In these tough economic times, declaring a state of emergency is the least the state can do to help our communities recover."
If Brown activates the California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA), it would allow affected communities to apply for reimbursement from the state for cleanup and recovery efforts. Many cities that have been directly affected by the winds have declared state of emergencies, including Alhambra, South Pasadena, Pasadena, San Marino, San Gabriel, Temple City, Sierra Madre, Monrovia, Glendora, Rosemead, and Arcadia. Declaring a state of emergency is the initial step at the local level for cities to qualify for state or federal disaster relief funds.
Representative Mike Eng, whose office is in Alhambra, wrote to Governor Brown: "Many neighborhoods have been left to cope with severe damage to property and endure the disruption of power outages as a result of the windstorm which, at its peak, blew winds of up to 80 mph between Wednesday and Thursday. Our local cities have declared states of emergency, with their city halls and police departments operating on generators. Meanwhile thousands of residents have had to deal with closures at local schools, libraries and public transportation systems. These disruptions have been particularly hard on seniors, children and families. Hundreds of trees are down throughout my district and many homes and businesses are now experiencing their second full day of power outages, which potentially poses serious health and public safety hazards."