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L.A. windstorm damage not enough for federal disaster declaration

December 22, 2011 | 10:12 am

Photo: Paul Flores, 18, walks under a concrete signal light that was snapped in half at the corner of Lake and Claremont streets in Pasadena after a Santa Ana wind storm blew many trees down. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles TimesThe powerful winds that battered the Los Angeles area several weeks ago did not produce enough damage to warrant a federal disaster declaration.

On Wednesday the California Emergency Management Agency told Los Angeles County officials that area cities had failed to meet the federal threshold for public damages -- $50.3 million -- to qualify for the declaration, the Pasadena Sun reported.

As a result county officials are asking all cities, unincorporated areas, school districts and others to report damages through the Los Angeles County Operational Area Response and Recovery System. 

PHOTOS: California windstorm

While officials seek federal aid to pay for repairs to public areas, the Small Business Administration has opened a disaster response office in Pasadena to offer low-interest loans to private property owners, renters and businesses that suffered losses from the storm.

The mid-December windstorm was marked by gusts of more than 80 mph and toppled thousands of trees, causing power outages to more than 440,000 customers in Southern California, damaging homes and cars and sparking several small fires. Most victims were in the San Gabriel Valley.

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-- Bill Kisliuk, Times Community News

Photo: Paul Flores, 18, walks under a concrete signal light that was snapped in half at the corner of Lake and Claremont streets in Pasadena after a Santa Ana wind storm blew many trees down. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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