Politics

President Biden to assess storm damage, recovery efforts in soaked California

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden went to California on Thursday to assess the recovery efforts in the country storm-hit condition.

Biden is meeting with California Governor Gavin Newsom and other officials and discussing whether additional federal aid is needed.

“I’m on my way to Santa Clara, California to meet with business owners and residents affected by flooding, survey damage and reaffirm our commitment to support California as they recover.” Biden tweeted Thursday.

California has seen homes flooded, roofs torn off, dams breached, cars submerged and trees uprooted in recent weeks.

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, who is traveling with Biden after visiting California herself last weekend, said the state was hit by unprecedented storms and hurricane-force winds.

“They felt like it was hit by hurricane after hurricane,” Criswell told reporters during Thursday’s flight to California.

Video: The weather in California is calming down, but the damage is extensive

US President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on January 19, 2023. - Biden is traveling to California to survey areas of the Central Coast affected by recent storms.  (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images) ORIG FILE ID: AFP_337E72Q.jpg

US President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on January 19, 2023. – Biden is traveling to California to survey areas of the Central Coast affected by recent storms. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images) ORIG FILE ID: AFP_337E72Q.jpg

The latest

  • California has been hit by atmospheric river storms since late December, resulting in floods, mudslides and landslides. At least 21 people have died.

  • Biden declared that an emergency exists in California last week, making federal funding available to several counties. More counties are expected to be included as the damage assessment continues.

  • Most counties had at least some damage from the staggering amount of rain and snow California received.

  • Thousands of homes were severely damaged and many roads are still closed.

  • The costs of the damage are expected to exceed DKK 1 billion.

  • In early January, Newsom declared a state of emergency throughout California to support the ongoing response.

Ryan Orosco of Brentwood carries his son Johnny, 7, on his back as his wife Amanda Orosco waits on the front porch to be rescued from their flooded home on Bixler Road in Brentwood, Calif., Monday, Jan. 16, 2023

Ryan Orosco of Brentwood carries his son Johnny, 7, on his back as his wife Amanda Orosco waits on the front porch to be rescued from their flooded home on Bixler Road in Brentwood, Calif., Monday, Jan. 16, 2023

What is happening

Biden is visiting Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, where storms have caused severe flooding and landslides. He is accompanied by Criswell, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. More than 500 personnel from FEMA and other federal agencies have been deployed to California to support response and recovery operations.

This aerial photo shows the area surveyed by US President Joe Biden as he visits California to view damage caused by recent powerful storms on January 19, 2023. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/ AFP via Getty Images) ORIG FILE ID: AFP_337F4AT.jpg

This aerial photo shows the area surveyed by US President Joe Biden as he visits California to view damage caused by recent powerful storms on January 19, 2023. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/ AFP via Getty Images) ORIG FILE ID: AFP_337F4AT.jpg

The trip is Biden’s third to California as president

Biden last visited the nation’s largest Democratic state in October as part of a West Coast swing to raise money and rally Democrats ahead of the 2022 election.

Biden also touted a bipartisan infrastructure package in Los Angeles and ordered a chicken quesadilla at a taco stand.

In his second trip to California as president, Biden campaigned for Newsom ahead of the 2021 gubernatorial recall election.

President Joe Biden speaks about investments in public transportation in Los Angeles, California on Oct. 13, 2022.

President Joe Biden speaks about investments in public transportation in Los Angeles, California on Oct. 13, 2022.

Dig deeper: More flood coverage

Featured: Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden to assess storm damage in California from flooding, landslides

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