Gov. Newsom expands emergency proclamation to 26 counties due to storms and floods

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday declared a state of emergency in five additional counties, expanding an original order of 21 counties last week, due to relentless storms that have hit California since the new year.

The original proclamation Feb. 21 came in light of two strong atmospheric river systems starting Jan. 5 and Feb. 12, which led to flooding and damaged infrastructure throughout the state, the proclamation said.

Newsom on Thursday added five counties – Amador, Glenn, Lake, Mendocino and Sonoma – due to “another significant atmospheric river storm system” that dumped record rain and snowfall throughout Northern California starting this Monday.

Sonoma County received one of Northern California’s more dramatic flooding instances in recent memory, when the town of Guerneville was inundated and most residents evacuated after Russian River overflow turned the community into a land-locked “island,” as the county sheriff’s office phrased it. Flooding slowly started to recede Thursday but has killed one person.

The 21 counties declared last week and still in emergency status are: Calaveras, El Dorado, Humboldt, Los Angeles, Marin, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Shasta, Tehama, Trinity, Ventura, and Yolo.

Both proclamations call for Caltrans to request Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief fund for roadway repairs and for the state Office of Emergency Services to assist municipal governments.

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Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.