Los Angeles, Feb 5 (IANS) California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for several Southern California counties as a series of winter storms began to affect much of the been with strong winds, damaging rains and heavy snowfalls.
The proclamation covers eight counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura, Xinhua news agency reported.
The emergency proclamation includes provisions authorizing a California National Guard response if called for, making unemployment benefits available to affected residents and making it easier for out-of-state contractors and utilities to repair damage from the storm, according to Newsom’s office.
“California is prepared with a record number of emergency assets on the ground to respond to the impacts of this storm,” Newsom said in a statement.
According to PowerOutages.us, more than 790,000 California customers are experiencing power outages as of Sunday night.
The US National Weather Service (NWS) issued a rare hurricane-force wind warning for the Central Coast.
“Additional areas of heavy rain are expected in the central and northern CA Coast Ranges and Central Valley during the evening and overnight hours,” the NWS said.
A flash flood warning is in effect for parts of the south and central coast, including areas of Los Angeles, where officials warned of one of the “most dramatic days of weather in recent memory.”