In hopes of urging the White House to declare a state of emergency on behalf of Southern California, Congressman Steve Knight asked President Trump for assistance after severe storms throughout the past few months.
“I respectfully ask that you act rapidly in order to ensure that appropriate federal agencies are able to provide Southern California the needed assistance to restore safety and minimize the impact of this challenging situation,” he wrote in a letter.
Knight noted in his letter that a Presidential Emergency Declaration would make federal aid available immediately to remove debris and mud, repair roads and increase federal, state and local agencies.
Los Angeles County has estimated damage costs of close to $100 million after the storms led to flooding, rockslides, mudslides, erosion, debris flow and the destruction of highways and roads.
“While we are grateful for the rain, the recent storms have caused hardship for many in our community,” Knight said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the President as well as state and local officials to ensure the cleanup and rebuilding processes are successful.”
Knight’s communications director Dan Outlaw said their team recognized the high number of damages across Los Angeles County and thought reaching out to President Trump was a necessary next step.
“We’ve been talking with state and local officials last week and this would be a good first step in the rebuilding (and) clean up processes to make sure the community gets the resources it needs to move forward,” Outlaw said.
As this is one of the first formal letters Knight has written to President Trump, there is no determined time frame expected for a response, according to Outlaw.
Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency last month in 50 of 58 of California’s counties, including Los Angeles.