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

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

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

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

During his visit to Merced County on Saturday, Gov. 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 as she stood in her parents’ empty living room.

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

“We could not save anything”, said Ceha.

The dirt and grass on the wall show how high the water got inside.

For the past few days, they have been working around the clock to clean and clear it.

A short distance away, the Martinez family was bracing for more rain and possible flooding.

Earlier this week, water seeped into their home and into the carpet.

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

The governor explained before the announcement how the declaration could help those people and businesses directly affected.

Those direct benefits, direct payments, SBA loans, other things that can come up are what we’re trying to work on and provide them, to the extent that we can across the country and these counties that are affected,” Newsom said.

Assemblywoman Esmeralda Soria says children who are out of school due to flood damage are top of mind.

“We made the plea today that he provide some flexibility with the department of education to ensure that the kids get some instruction over the next few weeks,” Soria said.

The governor reminded people to stay alert and heed warnings from officials until these storms pass.

“Let’s get through this. We’re going to get through this and come out on the other side stronger,” Newsom said. The process to qualify for major disaster relief has not yet been made clear.

Earlier Saturday, the governor suggested people start collecting storm damage and make sure you keep any repair bills so you’re ready for the process.

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