Gov to Bush on Levees
|Yesterday Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sent a letter to President Bush requesting a federal disaster declaration for California levees. |
Mr. President, during the past two flood seasons, severe weather conditions have caused me to proclaim states of emergency in as many as 42 counties. In fact, as you know, less than two months ago I proclaimed states of emergency covering 34 counties in California and those same counties were declared disaster areas by the Federal government. These storms alone caused more than an estimated $400 million in disaster-related damages throughout California's coastal areas and the Central Valley, and further weakened critical erosion sites on project levees along the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers.
Increasingly severe weather systems each season have accelerated the deterioration of the state's levee system to the point where they are now in danger of failing during the next major rainfall or earthquake. This worsening situation creates conditions of extreme peril to the public and property protected by the levees, to the environment, and to the very foundation of California's economy.
Schwarzenegger met with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff yesterday--and Chertoff agreed to come tour the California levee system in the coming weeks.