U.S. President Joe Biden approved a state of emergency in California on Friday as the most populous state in the country continued to get slammed by another strong and menacing winter storm.
Biden ordered federal assistance "to supplement State, tribal, and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides beginning on March 9, 2023, and continuing," according to a White House press release.
The action will authorize the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures.
The new storm is hitting much of California on Friday, bringing significant rainfall amid flood warnings.
The U.S. National Weather Service warned that the powerful winter storm will produce copious amounts of heavy snow to the high terrain of northern and central California and significant rainfall and flood threats across much of the state, as well as into far western Nevada.
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday requested a Presidential Emergency Declaration to authorize federal assistance supporting the state and local response to the severe storms, that is forecasted to continue through mid-March.
Newsom on Thursday also proclaimed a state of emergency in 21 of California's 58 counties to support disaster response and relief efforts, following the state of emergency he proclaimed in an initial 13 counties earlier this month.
"California is deploying every tool we have to protect communities from the relentless and deadly storms battering our state," said Newsom in a statement.
"In these dangerous and challenging conditions, it is crucial that Californians remain vigilant and follow all guidance from local emergency responders," the governor noted.