Public Agencies Estimate Storms Cost More Than $1 Million; County Needs to Hear From Individuals, Businesses and Farmers With Damage
Estimates of storm-related costs incurred by Placer County and other local governments over the New Year’s weekend exceed $1 million already and are expected to rise rapidly in coming days.
Program Manager Rui Cunha of the county’s Office of Emergency Services reported Thursday that the county and other local agencies still are busy estimating damage to roads, public buildings, parks and other public facilities, as well as manpower costs from the hundreds of government workers who helped protect residents and property during the storms.
Cunha noted the preliminary estimate has passed $1 million even though he doesn’t have totals yet from some local government agencies. The preliminary damage assessment must be completed by next Tuesday to meet state and federal deadlines.
Cunha emphasized the county also needs to hear from property owners, businesses, farmers and ranchers who suffered damages during the storm. That information will help government officials compile a comprehensive estimate of storm-related costs in Placer County and could be useful if the federal government declares California counties ravaged by last weekend’s storms a disaster area.
If a federal emergency is declared, property owners, businesses, farmers and ranchers who sustained damages may be eligible for financial assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“We don’t know if they will be eligible for individual assistance, but their calls will assist us in making the case for individual assistance by helping establish the scale of the damage,” Cunha said.
Individual property owners with storm-related damage are asked to call the county Office of Emergency Services at 530-886-5310. Callers will be asked about the nature of their damages, cost estimates and whether property losses are covered by insurance.
Businesses are asked to contact the county Office of Economic Development at 530-889-4016.
Farmers and ranchers are asked to call the office of county Agricultural Commissioner Christine E. Turner at 530-889-7372.
Cunha noted local damage could have been much greater, crediting local emergency agencies with preparing before the storms arrived, responding quickly when last weekend’s storms hit and working closely with the public.
“I think we did a good job as a community of anticipating the impacts of this flood,” he said.