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State government

With $569 million in winter storm damage, Gov. Jerry Brown asks Trump for more federal disaster help

 (Caltrans)
(Caltrans)

Putting the price tag of California's brutal winter storms at $569 million, Gov. Jerry Brown asked President Trump on Sunday for a fourth federal disaster declaration to help speed up recovery and repairs across the state.

"California has experienced one of the heaviest precipitation years in its recent history, and the impacts of storms that occurred in January and February have been extremely destructive to the state," Brown wrote in the letter to Trump.

The request for another disaster declaration specifically mentions the serious damage to both the main and emergency spillways at the Oroville Dam, a crisis that forced the evacuation of almost 200,000 nearby residents on Feb. 11.

The estimate of damages, a number calculated jointly by state and federal teams, was accompanied in Brown's letter by a long list of storm damage that left Californians fleeing flood waters and a number of roadways damaged by slipping hillsides and erosion.

"I have determined these atmospheric river storm systems are of such severity and magnitude, it is beyond the capabilities of the state and local affected governments, and supplemental federal assistance is necessary," Brown wrote.

The request comes on the eve of the governor's four-day trip to Washington, where he is expected to meet with congressional and possibly administration officials. Brown also added two counties on Sunday — Contra Costa and Solano — to 48 other counties covered by an emergency declaration on March 7, an effort to speed up other services in the wake of the winter damage.

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