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Lawmakers urge Biden to include Central Coast counties in disaster declaration

Posted at 8:39 PM, Jan 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-09 23:39:43-05

Central Coast Congressmen Salud Carbajal (CA-24) and Jimmy Panetta (CA-19) urged President Joe Biden to amend California’s federal emergency declaration to include San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

The lawmakers’ request comes in the wake of torrential rainfall and high surf that has triggered widespread flooding, damage, and ongoing evacuations up and down the two counties.

“Time is of the essence,” the lawmakers wrote. “Federal support is necessary to save lives, protect public health and safety, and defend property from damage in Santa Barbara oand San Luis Obispo Counties.”

The letter echoes and supports a similar request made by the California Governor Gavin Newsom tonight.

President Biden’s original emergency declaration approved Monday evening included 17 California counties. The lawmakers added that subsequent damage to the Central Coast has illustrated the need for the order to be expanded.

The lawmakers noted five years ago today, the Central Coast lost 23 lives in the Montecito Debris Flow, a tragic outcome of a similar torrential storm in the aftermath of the historic Thomas Fire.

The full text of the letter can be found HERE.