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California urges Obama to declare disaster because of rain damage

Acting Gov. Abel Maldonado on Wednesday sent a letter to President Obama urging him to declare a disaster in California because of storm damage.

The request came as another storm moved through Southern California. It's been the wettest December in L.A. in more than a century, causing road closures, mudslides and major flooding.

The state has already declared state emergencies in numerous counties hit by the storm damage.

Laguna Beach, whose downtown saw flooding last week, estimated the losses to be at least $10 million. In Highland, next to San Bernardino, dozens of homes were damaged by a massive mudslide.

In his letter, Maldondo noted the state's financial straits and said federal help would be needed.

"I request direct federal assistance for work and services to save lives and protect property. Due to the severity of this disaster, it may take some time for state or local governments to perform or contract for this type of work and these services," he wrote.

Another storm is expected Saturday.

-- Rong-Gong Lin II

Photo: (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times / December 29, 2010) Thigh-deep in floodwater and mud, staff member Manuel Celya stacks sandbags in the play yard at the Anneliese Schools' campus in Laguna Beach in an attempt to stem the flooding from a storm-swollen creek that runs along Laguna Canyon Road.

 
Comments () | Archives (9)

In case you haven't gotten the memo from the New Congress, no more bailouts for California.

Put your illegal aliens to work, like Sheriff Joe Arpaio does or quit funding their education at UCLA and the rest of the UC System!

Where is Arnold? Celebrating the holidays, no doubt. Why didn't this letter go out before? Perhaps nobody thought about it; too busy.

Fortunately, there is a Democrat in the White House; there should be some help forth coming. Except there will be Republicans in the House; oops, probably no money for L. A., San Bernardino, or Orange Counties. The soon to be Speaker and Minority Leader of the Senate, said all bills must be paid for, except for tax cuts.

Too bad Arnold spent all of our rainy day money, refused to consider raising taxes on the very rich, and wouldn't ask Californians if we could make corporations pay higher property taxes when they bought a building from another corporation, when they bought that corporation. Corporate property taxes never rise when they buy another corporation, including their buildings.

Before the next disaster takes place, write Governor Brown and tell him you want that tiny part of Proposition 13 fixed. Make Corporations pay their property taxes like we do, then we will be able to take care of our own rainy days.

How will you decide where to spend the money?

Don't hold your breathe, remember the floods on the east coast, all the tornadoes and the damage and nothing came from the White House on that, oh-but being California you might get an emergency declared....I don't remember if one ever was for the Gulf coast. I reckon alot of states might be upset, like NY and areas that are suffering due to the snow/deaths, etc. I have noticed this administration is not too big on that. So, good luck.

Puleeze. This is no hurricane Katrina. I'm a geologist and I know for a fact that everyone (or almost everyone) that bought property in those flooded canyons recieved along with all the other ownership papers a "disclosure of geologic hazards" document that informed them if their property was at risk from floods or landslides.

If they chose not to buy insurance and expect us to bail them out:

Sorry, government doesn't have the money!

I grew up in the hills surrounding LA and we were slammed by major floods in 1969 and again in 1979. We didn't ever consider whining to the government to subsidize our losses. We knew the risks inherent in where we lived and accepted responsibility for them. Then there were the wildfires of 1960 and 1978. Same thing.

"In his letter, Maldondo noted the state's financial straits and said federal help would be needed."
The classic reason for the perennial 'rainy day fund'.

It was a freaking rainstorm, not a full fledged disaster.

A big "Thank you" to the wonderful Democrats who have driven California into such a dismal financial situation that we can't even afford to clean up after a few rain storms.

At least they're being consistent, let's not plan for these things or maybe build up a "just in case" fund or two, no instead just go running to Big Daddy Obama to bail us out. This State is pathetic!


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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