Biden to travel to California on Thursday and assess storm damage


Workers clear the remains of a tree older than several hundred years after it crashed down during a storm the previous night that crushed several cars in a shopping center in Los Angeles on Sunday. Photo by Caroline Brehman/EPA-EFE

Workers clear the remains of a tree older than several hundred years after it crashed down during a storm the previous night that crushed several cars in a shopping center in Los Angeles on Sunday. Photo by Caroline Brehman/EPA-EFE

Jan. 17 (UPI) — President Joe Biden will travel to California on Thursday to determine how much federal support is needed as the state begins to recover from devastating flooding.

The White House said Biden will also meet with first responders and officials to assess the impact of storms that have left at least 20 people dead.

While the weather is improving, some highways remain closed and some parts of San Joaquin County are still under mandatory evacuation orders.

California has experienced an average of 9 inches of rainfall over the past 21 days, according to David Lawrence, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Western Region Headquarters.

Record precipitation was recorded in downtown San Francisco between Dec. 26 and Jan. 4, making it the wettest 10-day stretch in 150 years.

A mudslide damaged an apartment complex in Fairfax, Calif., on Friday, causing emergency services to evacuate 19 residents.

Last week, Biden issued an emergency declaration for 17 counties, and Gov. Gavin Newsom pledged to set aside $202 million in state funds.

On Sunday, Biden declared a major disaster in three more counties, which allow some people to apply for grants and low-cost loans to cover property losses.

It hasn’t just been rain. Snow has fallen at a record pace this year as every region of the Sierra Nevada has more than 200% of its typical snowpack for this time of year.

“Epic levels,” state climatologist Michael Anderson said in a news briefing Monday, according to NBC News. “We’re on pace ahead of the record pack ’82 and ’83.”

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