Board of Supervisors approve new help for flood survivors

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COUNTY supervisors took new actions on Tuesday, January 30 to help people in communities flooded by last week’s torrential rains, starting with protecting them from unfair evictions and shifting $10 million in funds to support them.

The Board of Supervisors approved actions in a special meeting Tuesday called to address the flooding as more rains were expected in coming days. This included more than a dozen actions, including:

  • Approving an ordinance prohibiting people who were affected by the floods, including in affected cities, of being evicted without just cause.
  • Using $10 million to help flood survivors regionally.
  • Making people in unincorporated areas who are rebuilding eligible for planning and environmental health permit fee waivers allows to help them rebuild.
  • Waiving plan check, building, septic system and well system permit fees for damaged or destroyed homes in unincorporated communities for five years or as long as funding allows.
  • Waiving plan check fees for hazmat or restaurants affected by the storms.
  • Holding community outreach meetings to understand the needs of diverse communities during emergencies and through the recovery. This will help inform a strategy to support recovery in our region.

County emergency services and land use and environment staff also briefed the Board of Supervisors about the current status of the flooding, recovery and continued preparations Tuesday.

Officials said the Jan. 22 storm was the fourth wettest single day in San Diego since 1850. It caused severe flooding, erosion, debris flows and mudslides. And it displaced many people, closed numerous roads and parts of State Route 78, caused power outages and damaged public and private infrastructure.

In its update on the recovery, officials said:

  • The county has reviewed nearly 2,800 reports from the public “self-reporting” damage on County surveys since the storm. Of those, 525 were categorized as major damage. Roughly 1,000 of those were from people who reported having no insurance.
  • The county immediately proclaimed a local emergency on the day of the storm to help make the region eligible for state and federal help.
  • The county has helped 777 households representing more than 2,000 people at the Local Assistance Center since it opened at the Spring Valley Library Jan. 28.
  • Residents can get information at the Local Assistance Center from nearly 20 County and state departments, as well as the American Red Cross, SDG&E and other organizations to help them recover. They can learn about debris and household hazardous waste removal, erosion control, rebuilding permits and how to replace vital records.
  • Initial damage assessments to public infrastructure alone have been estimated at $90 million regionwide. Of that, $4.1 was estimated to be for the County in its unincorporated communities.
  • County crews have been working in flooded unincorporated communities to remove debris from private properties and roads to keep the public safe.
  • Homes and businesses in the unincorporated area damaged by the rains and floods reported “broad damage” to homes, including to interior drywall and flooring, and exterior sidings.
  • County parks and trails damaged by the rains and floods will remain closed while county staff conduct inspections.

For more information and updates about the emergency response and about preparing for future emergencies, go to the County’s website.

(Gig Conaughton/County of San Diego Communications Office) n

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