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Dear Friend:

As we gear up for another storm system today and into the weekend, I will be monitoring flood damages and impacts closely. If the time comes, I will be sending letters and picking up the phone to call Governor Brown and the White House to ensure that residents in Fresno, Madera, and Merced counties receive the resources they need to address any catastrophic damages.

Since January, there have been mandatory evacuations up and down the state of California. In Merced County, families have been forced to leave their homes, and the county estimates that there is $3-3.5 million in damage due to the storms during the beginning of January. As a result of the storm events in the past four weeks, the cost of damages is continuing to rise, so while I welcome the major disaster declaration issued by Governor Brown and President Trump, it’s simply not enough. The current declaration only enables public entities in Merced, not individuals, to recoup costs from flood damages that took place in January.

I strongly encourage you to sign up for emergency alerts for the county you live in.


On February 14, President Donald Trump issued a major disaster declaration for the State of California. The major disaster declaration activates support and resources from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to counties in California that have been affected by storm events that took place January 3 through January 12. Merced County is one of 34 counties that are eligible to apply for public assistance grants. For-profit entities and individuals are not eligible to apply for public assistance grants.

Separately, on February 14, President Trump issued an emergency declaration for Butte, Sutter, and Yuba counties for storms events that began on February 7 and is continuous.

Most recently, on February 16, FEMA announced a time extension for the major disaster declaration due to storms that occurred during January 18 through the 23. The counties eligible to apply for grants during that time period have not been announced yet.

Again, I encourage to sign-up for the emergency alert for the county you live in. Please do what you can to stay safe this weekend.

To stay up-to-date on the work I am doing in Congress, please sign up for my e-newsletters.


Jim Costa
Member of Congress