PAJARO, Calif. (KGO) -- In the town of Pajaro, thousands of people have begun the long recovery effort of cleaning up after the devastating floods.
But now, they have new hope for some additional aid from President Joe Biden.
It was around midnight Friday, March 10 when the Pajaro levee breached, flooding the town, forcing the evacuation of around 3,000 people.
They finally came home late last week, many to homes they can't live in, the community still without drinkable water.
Many residents only coming home to throw away just about everything.
Debris pickup has started this week and Wednesday, Monterey County opened a brand new resource center for people impacted.
All of this as the county says that there's now a change in pace from response to recovery a daunting process.
"Recovery is going to take several months, if not years," said Kelsey Scanlon with the Monterey County Dept. of Emergency Services.
From the start of the flooding and evacuations in Monterey County, the California Office of Emergency Services and local nonprofits came in to provide assistance.
Still, many have been anxious for Governor Gavin Newsom to request a presidential major disaster declaration.
Once signed by President Biden, it would allow FEMA to deploy resources not just to Pajaro in Monterey County, but other California counties like Santa Cruz and San Benito that were impacted by storms since Feb. 21. FEMA help would also then be available to the people in the requested counties who were impacted by storms after that date.
After delays, that request to the President was signed by Newsom Tuesday and is awaiting signature from Biden.
"Certainly the step that was made (Tuesday) by the governor, Governor Gavin Newsom is a very positive step, a step in the right direction," said Nicholas Pasculli, Monterey County spokesperson.
While most may agree with that, there's still concern that some of the people impacted in Pajaro may fall through the cracks.
"Monterey County and also more specifically Pajaro has a fairly high incidence of undocumented individuals living in that community," said Raymon Cancino, CEO of local nonprofit Community Bridges, "Which means that a lot of the folks are not going to be eligible for FEMA support."
Newsom says he will be looking into state funds to help fill some of those gaps.
Community Bridges says it will also do what it can with partners to help as all focus on rebuilding.
"We're working the best and the fastest that we can to ensure that we're impacting those families," Cancino said.
To find out more on how to donate to Community Bridges, visit here.
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