In the wake of the 5.1 temblor that rattled the region late last month, the Orange County Board of Supervisors this week took a necessary step toward unlocking state and federal disaster relief funds.
At its meeting Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to proclaim a local emergency and ask the governor to declare a state emergency. That, in turn, would make the county eligible to receive money for clean-up and repairs.
While board Vice Chairwoman Pat Bates, acting as board chair, declared a local emergency on April 4, this week's move solidified the proclamation.
The quake, which rolled from its epicenter near La Habra in the northeastern part of the county on the evening of March 28, snapped water mains, damaged homes and left a major roadway strewn with dirt and boulders. Inspectors also red-tagged buildings in Fullerton and closed a Brea elementary school until they could be determined safe.
According to a staff report, county officials have estimated that the temblor caused about $10.5 million in damage to public areas.