Rain, hail, snow and high winds walloped San Diego County over the weekend leaving behind downed trees and other damaged infrastructure.
In Chula Vista, Mayor Mary Salas and the Public Works Director Rick Hopkins said the cleanup following the winter storm could take weeks, and estimate the cost reaching into the millions.
Salas says that hundreds of trees were blown over throughout the city by winds that exceeded 60 mph. At Rohr Park alone, crews have counted 58 fallen trees, some decades old, and city officials expect that total to grow.
Some parks in the city have been closed to the public completely as Public Works crews are working around the clock to clean up the carnage, a decision that Mayor Salas said was “absolutely necessary.”
“We got hit really hard Friday night,” Hopkins said. “I think we were one of the worst areas hit within the whole county.”
On Monday, Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency for San Diego County and others throughout the state, opening up an avenue to secure funding for post-storm recovery.
Holly Crawford, director of San Diego County Office of Emergency Services said that cities can proclaim a local State of Emergency, and could receive funding from Governor’s California Disaster Assistance Act to offset the cost of damage to public infrastructure.
Crawford says that for "qualifying road damage" cities can receive money via Cal Trans through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) program.
Relief funding administered by the FHWA is available for the repair federal-aid highways or roads on federal lands that have been seriously damaged by natural disasters over a wide area. In some cases, funds for debris removal are only available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Funding to cover non-Federal-aid highways is available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Stafford Act.