Sonoma County Supervisors on Tuesday extended by 30 days a local state of emergency stemming from the storms that drenched the region this month, allowing the county to get state disaster relief funds to help repair damage caused by the downpours.
In declaring a continued emergency, the county proclaimed “conditions of extreme peril” persisted after repeated heavy rainfall caused flooding, closed and damaged roadways, triggered mudslides and resulted in power outages for thousands of local residents.
Supervisors’ extension of the emergency, which ratified an earlier proclamation from the county administrator, allows the county to continue claiming damages caused by the storms and cleared the way for financial assistance from the state.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday proclaimed a statewide emergency covering most of California’s counties, including Sonoma, because of the storms. His proclamation directed the state Office of Emergency Services to assist counties based upon damage assessments from local governments.
Additionally, county supervisors agreed to waive permit fees for repair work associated with the storm, hoping to encourage private property owners to go through the local permitting process as they recover from the heavy rainfall.
The first round of major storms hit beginning Jan. 7 and more heavy rainfall swamped the county last week, helping make January unusually wet in Sonoma County.
County Administrator Sheryl Bratton first proclaimed a local emergency Jan. 8 and it was ratified by the Board of Supervisors at its Jan. 10 meeting.
Brattan signed a supplemental proclamation Jan. 13 that called on the governor to proclaim an emergency at the state level.
Estimates after the first storms alone reported more than $8 million in road damage and more than $860,000 in private property damage, but those figures could still stretch higher, according to county officials. The county has not yet released damage estimates from the second major storms.
You can reach Staff Writer J.D. Morris at 707-521-5337 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @thejdmorris.