Newsom declares state of emergency for parts of Southern California amid record rainfall

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an emergency proclamation Tuesday to support recovery efforts in two South California counties weathering widespread flooding amid record rainfall.

The proclamation, which applies to San Diego and Ventura counties, covers a fierce episode of winter weather that has engulfed the region in the past few days, as well as storms that occurred in early January and late December.

“I find that conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property exist due to these winter storms,” the governor declared.

Monday’s rainfall accumulation at San Diego International Airport stacks up among the five wettest days for the area on record — with the local National Weather Service (NWS) branch measuring 2.73 inches at the facility.

This made Monday the fourth wettest day in 174 years of records, behind only Oct. 4, 1923; April 5, 1926; and Dec. 2, 1854, per the NWS.

The storm, alongside the previous two winter weather stretches, have “caused widespread flooding, mudslides, and debris flows threatening life and safety, structures, and other critical infrastructure,” the governor’s declaration states.

The unusually treacherous weather has also prompted evacuations and road and school closures while inflicting “widespread damage to public and private property,” the document notes.

The proclamation includes provisions aimed at facilitating unemployment benefits for affected residents, while waiving fees to replace records such as driver’s licenses and birth certificates.

The governor’s declaration follows a local emergency proclamation issued by San Diego County, where officials cited damages caused by the storm and the associated flooding.

Nonetheless, by midday Tuesday, the NWS San Diego branch had a more optimistic forecast for the coming days, anticipating warmer temperatures and sun.

“After an active start to the week, things will quiet down nicely,” the forecasters said.

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