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Western Lawmakers Call on Biden, FEMA to Declare Drought Disaster

Congressional leaders are calling on President Joe Biden to declare a drought disaster in the West as record temperatures and historic wildfires batter multiple states.

In letter, Reps. Joe Neguse of Colorado and Jared Huffman of California, Democrats whose districts have been ravaged by drought and wildfires, ask Biden and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to release additional resources to aid Western communities faced with water cuts as supplies rapidly dwindle.

FEMA Ranks Los Angeles County as Riskiest in the Nation; Riverside, San Bernardino Counties in Top 10

Los Angeles County is the riskiest county in the country according to a new risk index – and Riverside and San Bernardino counties are not far behind.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Risk Index looked at 18 kinds of natural disasters, such as coastal flooding, drought, landslides, tsunamis, earthquakes, wildfires, strong winds, volcanic activity and heat and cold waves. The ranking also takes into account economic damage and the community’s ability to recover from a disaster.

FEMA Ends Policy Favoring Flood Walls Over Green Protections

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has taken a dramatic step to encourage communities to use environmentally friendly features such as wetlands for flood protection instead of building sea walls and levees. A new FEMA flood policy released late last month with no public announcement is drawing praise from environmentalists because it will promote mitigation projects that provide environmental benefits in addition to flood protection.

FPUD Adopts Resolution of Emergency

The Fallbrook Public Utility District adopted a resolution declaring a state of emergency due to the coronavirus epidemic.

A 5-0 FPUD board vote, April 27, authorized Jack Bebee, general manager of FPUD, and Dave Shank, the district’s chief financial officer, to submit any necessary requests for emergency-related financial assistance to the state’s Office of Emergency Services or to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“We’re only doing it just because there’s a timeline to submit it,” Bebee said. “Right now, we’re not planning to submit anything.”

Officials Seeking FEMA Funds To Repair Problem Shasta County Dam

Officials in Shasta County are preparing to apply for federal emergency management funds to repair a dam from which they can no longer release water, that officials say is in danger of flooding during a major storm event.

Twenty miles west of Redding, near the communities of Igo and Ono, the Misselbeck Dam holds back the Rainbow Lake reservoir. In 2018 the Carr fire burned up the vegetation surrounding the 12-acre reservoir.

 

State Appeals FEMA Spillways Reimbursement

The California Department of Water Resources was notified today that the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services submitted DWR’s Oroville spillways reimbursement appeal to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Back in March, FEMA notified DWR that it does not consider some spillway reconstruction work to be eligible for reimbursement based on information DWR had previously submitted at the end of 2018. DWR appealed the initial reimbursement determination and provided FEMA with follow up information and updated cost estimates to support DWR’s appeal, according to a DWR press release.

FEMA Details Why It Rejected State’s Request For Oroville Spillway Funds

Federal emergency relief officials have provided new details on their decision to reject California’s request to reimburse the state for work to rebuild and reinforce the badly damaged spillways at Oroville Dam. The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced earlier this month that it would not reimburse the state for $306 million in construction on the spillways, which failed in February 2017 and prompted mandatory evacuation orders for 188,000 people living downstream of the nation’s tallest dam.