Federal Assistance Requested for January Storms – What San Diego County Communities Can Expect


As the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) works to help get California communities on the road to recovery following the recent series of record-setting wet weather, Governor Gavin Newsom is requesting federal support from the late January storm.

On February 7, Governor Newsom requested a Major Disaster Declaration from President Joseph R. Biden to support San Diego County as it recovers from severe winter storms in late January.

The Presidential Major Disaster Declaration request encompasses San Diego residents impacted by widespread flooding and devastation that resulted from storms between January 21 and January 23, which tragically killed three and significantly damaged more than 800 homes in primarily underserved communities where flood insurance coverage is exceptionally low. The text of the Governor’s request can be found here.

If President Biden approves California’s request, this will open up additional federal funds for California communities, however, eligibility for federal programs will be based on the unique damage and extent of impacts incurred locally.

Previously, Governor Newsom, on January 23, proclaimed a state of emergency for San Diego and Ventura counties to support recovery from winter storms in late December and January. The emergency proclamation included provisions facilitating unemployment benefits for impacted residents, and waiving fees to replace records such as driver’s license cards and birth certificates.A graphic reading, "San Diego January 2024 Winter Storms. California requests federal major disaster declaration. Data as of February seventh 2024. Storm impacts to San Diego County. Three inches of rain in three hours. 600 plus community members sheltered. 148 water / flood rescues. 60 plus roads closed. 10 + schools with damage. 800 + homes with damage. More than 4,440 services requested include: Food boxes; bus passes; gas vouchers; hygiene kits; laundry service; hotel vouchers; legal services; financial assistance; debris cleanup; mold suppression.

February Storms Aid Status

Starting in late January, Governor Newsom directed an all-of-government response to storms that have impacted nearly all residents. The response included over 8,500 boots on the ground to support communities with roadways, flood operations, rescue teams, sheltering and more.

Although no federal aid has been requested and is separate from the February 7 request of the President, counties continue assessing ongoing damages from this specific round of storms. The state of California is committed to continuing our support to California communities and maximizing aid to those who have been adversely impacted by the February storms.

On February 4, Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency for eight counties in Southern California as a series of winter storms began impacting much of the state with high winds, damaging rain and heavy snowfall. The text of the proclamation can be found here.

The proclamation covers Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.