LAGUNA BEACH, CA — A state of emergency issued by Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this month in response to the onslaught of rain storms pummeling the Golden State was extended to Orange County on Tuesday.
The declaration comes after the Board of Supervisors announced a local state of emergency in Orange County during their regular meeting earlier that Tuesday.
According to District 5 Supervisor Katrina Foley, the proclamation was made for "our coastal communities [that] have suffered ongoing impacts due to coastal flooding, high surf, erosion and land saturation."
Foley called on her fellow supervisors to approve the proclamation at the board's Tuesday meeting.
Sen. Janet Nguyen, R-Huntington Beach, and Assembly member Diane Dixon, R-Newport Beach, also wrote Newsom to request that Orange County be included in the state's emergency declarations, the Orange County Register reported.
The local emergency declaration will allow county officials to ask for aid that can go toward damage caused by past storms and storms to come.
The winter storms have created at least $6.4 million in damages across several Orange County beach towns, including Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Seal Beach, officials said.
In Laguna Beach, recent storm conditions caused a sinkhole to open up in a South Laguna neighborhood. A car fell into a sinkhole, and a water main break and a gas line was broken.
In addition, the January storms destroyed a city lifeguard tower with an estimated damage of $96,000.
In Newport Beach, the pounding rains, big surf and high winds have created hillside collapses in one coastal neighborhood.
The backyard of a Dover Shores home collapsed, along with a chunk of the bluff beneath it, during a heavy downpour on Friday, March 3. The house was red-taped and the residents of the home — as well as neighbors, one of them being a 90-year-old — were forced to leave their homes, officials said.
"My hope is that there is no further sliding on the shore, but if these three homes fall, a cascading effect may happen to the 50 other homes on the bluff and we must be prepared in case that does happen," Foley said in a statement.
Seal Beach also saw heavy weather-related damage from the January storms, after a deluge of rain and high surf caused damage to the city's pier and flooding to homes along the coast.