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Gov. Newsom Declares State Of Emergency With Storms In 13 Mountainous Counties

New emergency order comes less than 24 hours after Newsom ended COVID-19 state of emergency

By Evan Symon, March 2, 2023 12:15 pm

California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in 13 counties on Wednesday after storms lasting nearly a week dumped up to seven feet of additional snow in some areas and Los Angeles seeing its most significant snowfall since 1989.

Between February 22nd and Wednesday, a combination of heavy precipitation and cold weather brought decades level snowfall records across the Golden state. Many areas not used to snow received blizzard-like conditions and poor driving weather, causing many roads and highways to shut down, including portions of Interstate 5, as well as many residents to be stranded in more isolated areas. Infrastructure was also cut off in many areas, with some buildings also collapsing due to the heavy snowfall.

With disaster relief needed in mountainous counties ranging from Northern California to Southern California, calls for help grew in the past several days. Lawmakers in many counties hit hard by the storm urgently pleaded for state assistance. And in Washington, Eleven Republican House Representatives from California called on Newsom to Declare a state of emergency in all affected counties to help facilitate quicker relief. With pressure mounting and the situation growing worse, Gov. Newsom declared a new state of emergency for the counties of Amador, Kern, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Nevada, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sierra, Sonoma and Tulare on Wednesday.

In a press release, the Governor’s office specifically pointed out San Bernardino County as the County that needed the most assistance, due to  most areas of the county being unused to having snow and the county being overwhelmed by the need for assistance by residents.

A new state of emergency in California

“The Governor has also activated the State Operations Center to bring state support to county-led emergency response efforts and coordinate mutual aid from neighboring jurisdictions, especially in San Bernardino County,” said the Governor’s office on Wednesday. “Significant numbers of state personnel are on the ground supporting San Bernardino County, including from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol, working closely with the county-led Incident Command to rapidly deploy resources and address emergency management needs.”“Cal OES is working with Caltrans and San Bernardino County officials to bring in additional snow plows as well as road crews, and personnel from CAL FIRE and the California National Guard are readied to support operations. The state is also contracting with private companies to accelerate snow removal and clear roadways, and is coordinating with investor-owned utilities to rapidly restore power.”“Cal OES is coordinating with local officials to open two shelters for residents in San Bernardino County and is coordinating with law enforcement to escort power companies, food and water deliveries and service providers for vulnerable populations.”

San Bernardino County Supervisor Dawn Rowe remarked that state help was a necessity, as the county had already put all their available resources into the winter weather event.

“There’s no way we could have anticipated the depth of snow that landed over the course of time, to be able to clear that,” said Rowe. “It is our No. 1 priority to get to those residents so they can have the safe environment that we hope to provide to them. Plowing of the roads is continuing 24/7. We have thrown all of our assets at this, and we’ve requested additional assets from our state partners and anybody else who can provide them.”

The new state of emergency came less than 24 hours after the three-year COVID-19 state of emergency ended, a month after Newsom ended 26 other open emergency orders, and two months after issuing the last large weather-related state of emergency when bomb cyclones struck the state in December 2022 and January 2023.

“One emergency ended and another began,” Raul Espinoza, a first responder and EMS worker in Southern California who routinely is a part of many weather and nature related emergencies, told the Globe Thursday. “It’s been crazy. We had severe heat and drought and wildfires in the past several years, and now we have all this rain and snow bringing on things like mudslides. They train you for as many scenarios as possible, and I think these last few years have stretched even that.”

“Of course we needed this state of emergency. I just wish it was brought about sooner. And, we also had some earthquakes too recently up North causing damage. I don’t know what else needs to happen at this point for Newsom to release a surprising state of emergency. Whenever we get a special assignment, we get a text way early in the morning telling us something came up. All we can think of is ‘Well what happened now?’ We’ve already had a crazy 2023 and it’s barely March.”

The latest emergency order is expected to last at least several months.

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7 thoughts on “Gov. Newsom Declares State Of Emergency With Storms In 13 Mountainous Counties

  1. Gavin Newsom’s California : One CONTINUAL state of “emergency”, because the guy is basically clueless and has ZERO managerial skills…

  2. Californians are under a constant state of emergency as long as Gov. Newsom is in office acting like a petty authoritarian dictator.

    1. Weather manipulation is a HUGE story waiting to be broken by real investigative journalists. Whoever does will be a super hero.

  3. Wait until this idiots gas powered chain saw ban is in effect. Hard to charge electric equipment when the power is out and damaged and down trees are everywhere.

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