Feds help Napa, San Mateo with storm repairs

Two San Francisco Bay Area counties have been approved to receive federal money to repair and mitigate public facilities following winter storms in January, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services announced Thursday.

President Donald Trump Thursday declared that a major disaster exists in California and ordered federal help for Napa and San Mateo counties among others outside the Bay Area, including Santa Cruz County, for storms between Jan. 18 and Jan. 23.

San Mateo County Board of Supervisors president Don Horsley said:

“We are thankful and happy. … It’s good to have disaster recovery.”

Federal money is available to the state, Native American tribes, local governments and some nonprofit companies for emergency work and repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the storms.

Horsley said a bridge, fire roads and state Highway 84, as well as other infrastructure facilities, were damaged in San Mateo County.

He said a number of fire roads, which give firefighters access to forests during a forest fire, have completely failed.

Governor’s Office of Emergency Office Services spokesman Brad Alexander said it’s likely the federal money could be used to repair county or city roads.

“This is great news for California,” Alexander said, as the money will allow county officials can tackle to costly repairs.

Money is also available statewide on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation projects.