Due to the severe weather conditions, Santa Barbara County proclaimed a local emergency in order to mobilize disaster relief aid and resources.
The ongoing winter storm impacted the Central Coast region with evacuation and protective orders, as well as multiple calls for water rescue and road closures.
County Executive Officer Mona Miyasato signed the proclamation into effect on Jan. 9 at 3:05 p.m. The Santa Barbara County (SBC) Board of Supervisors approved the proclamation at its Jan. 10 regular meeting.
“The January 2023 Storm is causing a threat to people and property within the County of Santa Barbara, necessitating all required resources of support be utilized to respond,” Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann said in a press release.
The proclamation enables the county to utilize all resources necessary to respond to damages caused by the storm and receive state funding through the California Disaster Assistance Act.
Last night, President Joe Biden approved an amendment to his original federal emergency declaration for the State of California to include 12 additional counties, including Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. The declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide emergency assistance in response to the severe winter storms, mudslides and flooding.
Congressman Salud Carbajal successfully lobbied for the Biden administration to extend the emergency declaration to the Central Coast.
“I am grateful to President Biden, FEMA, state officials, and our local leaders and emergency managers for working quickly to ensure Central Coast first responders can get the resources they need to respond to the damage brought by this week’s storms,” Carbajal said in a press release.
Carbajal urged those affected by the winter storm to proceed with caution as hazardous conditions continue to present a danger to property, infrastructure and public safety.
“I urge all Central Coast residents to continue to heed the warnings of our first responders and emergency response teams,” he continued. “The danger has not yet passed, hazards remain, and vigilance is critical to keeping you and your family safe.”