Sonoma County supervisors ratify local health emergency, hope for federal aid for Russian River flood victims

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- Debris removal in Sonoma County begins Monday, this after Sonoma County supervisors approved a local health emergency and authorized curbside debris collection for the hazardous waste that has piled up along the lower Russian River. The county has provided a map where residents can find information about debris drop-off.

Teams from the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been assessing the damage from February's storm. FEMA will determine if the damage in Sonoma and its neighboring counties warrants a recommendation for a major disaster declaration by President Trump.

RELATED: Trash fills Downtown Guerneville following Russian River flooding

Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins told ABC7 News a federal declaration would offer grants for uninsured losses and open up housing assistance to ensure people who were displaced don't become homeless.

The county estimates the storm caused about $155 million in damages. At Thursday's special meeting, supervisors worried there isn't sufficient damage to potentially qualify for the disaster declaration.

RELATED: Clean up and recovery efforts continue in Guerneville after catastrophic floods

"We here in Sonoma County in this flood event, let's just be blunt, basically got screwed because we were the primary epicenter of this flood event," said Hopkins. "Counties just to the south and north of us were not nearly as heavily impacted. Had they been heavily impacted, we would have had more damages, more people who are suffering, which then would have gotten us the help that we need."

Curbside debris collection will begin Monday, March 11th.
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