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Rep. Judy Chu Calls on Gov. Brown to Declare Disaster Areas in San Gabriel Valley Due to Damage from Santa Ana Winds

December 4, 2011
Press Release

EL MONTE, CA – Rep. Judy Chu (CA-32) wrote a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown asking him to declare parts of the San Gabriel Valley a Disaster Area in the wake of last week's Santa Ana winds event. Affected cities that qualify can apply for state funds to assist in cleanup and recovery efforts.

"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," said Rep. Chu. "I know that many of our local cities, including Pasadena, have declared states of emergency to deal with the aftermath of the Santa Anas, from cleaning up and repairing damaged city property, to dealing with inspections of red-tagged buildings and providing emergency shelter to those left without homes.

"The fact is we have millions and millions of dollars and several months of cleanup and repairs left ahead of us," Rep. Chu added. "And that is why I am calling on Gov. Brown to declare a disaster area here in the San Gabriel Valley. Such a declaration would activate the California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA), allowing affected communities to apply for reimbursement from the state for cleanup and recovery efforts."

The CDAA allows cities to apply to the state for reimbursements of costs associated with disaster recovery, as little as $2,500 aggregate state share. Many cities 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 first step at the local level to qualify for state or federal disaster relief funds.

"For many of our cities the cost to repair and cleanup the damage will be into the millions of dollars," said Rep. Chu, whose own district office remained without power for more than two days after Thursday's winds. " In these tough economic times, declaring a state of emergency is the least the state can do to help our communities recover."