The Placer County Board of Supervisors reaffirmed Tuesday that a local emergency exists because of the extreme winds and heavy rain that swept across Northern California last week.
The board voted unanimously to leave in place a declaration of local emergency made Sunday by Assistant County Executive Officer Michael J. Boyle in his capacity as the county’s assistant director of emergency services.
In response to Sunday’s declaration, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger included Placer County among six counties covered by a state-of-emergency proclamation issued Monday. Two days earlier, he had declared a state of emergency in Sacramento, Kings and Glenn counties.
The governor’s proclamations allow the state’s Office of Emergency Services to assist local governments under the California Disaster Assistance Act.
Placer County’s declaration of a local emergency is part of its effort to determine the extent of major property damage caused by the storms.
Program Manager Rui Cunha of the county Office of Emergency Services told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday that his office has received reports of 15 homes and businesses that suffered major damages. Major damages are defined as losses equal to at least 50 percent of a property’s value.
The Office of Emergency Services still is gathering reports of major storm-related damage to homes, businesses and public facilities in cities and unincorporated areas.
Homeowners and businesses with major losses to report are urged to contact the office at 530-886-5300.
Cunha said people should contact his office if they are uncertain whether their property damage is classified as major.
After the damage data is collected, a determination will be made whether the damage is substantial enough to seek federal assistance. If so, businesses and homeowners who suffered major damage may be eligible for low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Cunha gave the board a briefing on the county’s response to the storms, noting that his office, county departments, the California Highway Patrol, California Department of Transportation, local cities, fire departments and other agencies turned out in force to help the public get prepared for the extreme winds and heavy rain, protect residents as the storms passed over the area and lead recovery efforts in their aftermath.
Placer County Supervisor Kirk Uhler noted that he saw county workers in the field trying to keep roads and gutters clear of debris during the height of last Friday’s severe storm.
“I thought it was very good, quick response,” Supervisor Uhler said.
The county Emergency Operations Center was activated on the morning of Jan. 4 to help coordinate the efforts of local agencies.