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Joe Biden to visit California storm damage and view recovery efforts

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is expected to tour the damage and be briefed on recovery efforts after devastating storms battered California in recent weeks, killing at least 20 people and causing destruction in 41 of 58 counties in the state.

The president, joined by FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, Governor Gavin Newsom and other state and local officials, will tour the storm-damaged Capitola Pier in Santa Cruz County on Thursday, where he will meet with property owners. businesses and affected residents.

Biden will also meet with first responders and deliver remarks on state recovery support at nearby Seacliff State Park.

“More than 500 FEMA and other federal personnel have already been deployed to California to support response and recovery operations and are working side-by-side with the state to ensure all needs are met. actually satisfied on the ground,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Wednesday. .

Biden has already approved a major disaster declaration for the state, freeing up additional federal resources for recovery efforts. Hours before the visit, he further raised the level of federal aid available.

From Dec. 26 to Jan. 17, the entire state of California averaged 11.47 inches of rain and snow, according to the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center, with some reports of up to 15 feet of snow falling over the three week period in the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada.

California gets much of its winter rain and snow from a weather phenomenon known as “atmospheric rivers” – long, narrow bands of water vapor that form over the ocean. and cross the sky.

California has been hit by nine atmospheric rivers since late December. The storms have subsided in recent days, although forecasters predicted light rain towards the end of this week followed by a dry spell.

Associated Press writers Seth Borenstein in Washington and Adam Beam in Sacramento, Calif., contributed to this report.

The Huffington Gt

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