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Biden Announces More Relief Measures For Storm-hit Regions In California

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President Joe Biden has announced additional relief measures after visiting areas impacted by the recent storms in California.

Biden reaffirmed his commitment to supporting the people of California as they recover and rebuild from the impact of recent extreme weather across the state.

Speaking at Seacliff State Park, Aptos, after surveying recovery efforts in storm-hit regions, Biden said he has instructed his administration "to bring every element of the federal government together with the help of immediate needs to long-term rebuilding, to do both."

He promised the federal government's help to bring significant changes in the state's infrastructure.

The Department of Agriculture is helping farmers with disaster loans and grants if they lost livestock or their crops were washed away.

The Small Business Administration will help local businesses with low-interest loans so they can recover.

"And now, if you don't have insurance or if you're underinsured, FEMA is going to get you started on home repairs and replacing lost or damaged property like cars or refrigerators, things inside the home that'll be able to be replaced quickly," Biden said. 

To apply for assistance from FEMA, potential applicants can go online to DisasterAssistance.gov. 

They can also sign up in person for disaster recovery centers in the coming days. At least seven such centers will be opened across the state, and FEMA will deploy disaster Survivor Assistance Teams to communities that need them the most.

This is in addition to the President authorizing additional disaster assistance by increasing the federal share for debris removal and emergency protective measures to 100 percent of the total eligible cost for 60 days.

Biden earlier approved an expedited major disaster declaration. The counties of Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Merced, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and Santa Barbara have been approved for both individual assistance as well as Category A debris removal and Category B emergency protective measures. And San Joaquin has been approved for individual assistance only at this time.

California is still reeling under the effects of catastrophic storms and floods that began unleashing across the state on December 27.

The flooding began after record levels of rainfall were recorded on December 31. Roads were closed due to flooding. The storms and flooding claimed 22 lives so far.

More than 500 FEMA and other federal personnel have already deployed to California to support response and recovery operations.

Biden met with first responders, state and local officials, and communities impacted by the devastation. He surveyed damage across the Central Coast, discussed recovery efforts, and assessed what additional federal support is needed to the survivors of the catastrophe.

His stops included Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, where storms have caused severe flooding and mudslides resulting in damage to roads, farmlands, businesses, and homes.

The President was joined by Governor Gavin Newsom and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell.

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