Biden declares emergencies in California, Alabama after natural disasters

Flooding in California.
Flooding in California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Biden over the weekend approved emergency declarations for California and Alabama, as both states continue to recover from a bout of natural disasters that have claimed numerous lives.

In separate statements, the White House announced that Biden had declared "major disaster" zones in the two states. The declarations will allocate federal funding for the hardest-hit areas. Biden's declaration makes funding available to Merced, Sacramento, and Santa Cruz Counties in California, and Autauga and Dallas Counties in Alabama.

The decision by the president comes as both the Golden State and the Yellowhammer State face a mounting recovery from separate types of disasters — yet both equally destructive.

In California, a series of winter rainstorms have brought bouts of flooding, mudslides, and power outages across the state since December. While The New York Times reported that a reprieve from the storms is on the horizon starting next week, northern and central California is still being soaked. At least 19 people have died since the start of the floods.

"California is grateful for President Biden's swift approval of this critical support to communities reeling from these ongoing storms," California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said in a statement.

Alabama fell victim to a series of tornadoes last week, with Reuters reporting that at least five twisters touched down in the state. At least nine people died as the storms destroyed homes and knocked out power to thousands across the southeast United States.

"@POTUS and @FEMA have been good partners in our recovery efforts, and we are thankful," Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) tweeted. "Alabamians are resilient folks, and we will come back stronger."

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