U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, has joined 25 members of the California congressional delegation in calling for a delay of today’s deadline for families impacted by January’s severe storms to apply for federal aid.
Amid multiple new storms that have caused renewed flooding and displacement of families on the Central Coast, the bipartisan group of lawmakers asked the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday to extend today’s deadline for support to cover home repairs, temporary displacement and other costs.
Joining Rep. Salud Carbajal in the effort for the extension were U.S. Reps. Julia Brownley, whose district includes most of Ventura County, and Jimmy Panetta, whose district includes northern San Luis Obispo County. They joined the other members of Congress in signing a letter, dated March 15, to FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell.
“Our constituents are currently facing yet another flood event, and many have been displaced right before the March 16, 2023 deadline. Extending this deadline will allow victims to focus on their safety, instead of paperwork, as they continue to experience the fallout from current winter storms,” the group of California lawmakers wrote. “We are confident that FEMA did not anticipate this current storm when setting the current March 16 application deadline. We urge you to extend this deadline for our constituents who have been unable to recover between historic storms and have faced emergencies and losses twice in the past three months.”
Reps. Carbajal and Rep. Panetta successfully urged President Biden to unlock the FEMA aid for residents of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties earlier this year.
While President Biden has approved a federal emergency declaration for the most recent storms hitting the central coast, applications for FEMA disaster relief can’t be used for damage caused by the most recent flooding events.
For the full text of the letter, see panetta.house.gov/sites/panetta.house.gov/files/documents/2023.03.15_LETTER_FEMA_Relief%20Deadline_NEW%20Letter.pdf.