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County approves allocating $10M in storm response and recovery funding

Approval comes on a 4-1 vote on Tuesday afternoon.
Board of Supervisors approve relief for those affected by storm
Posted at 10:18 PM, Jan 30, 2024

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Michael Rios’ story is like many others who had their old lives washed away by last week’s storm.

“Lost everything. All my belongings, house plus my car,” Rios said. “I woke up, and my house was already flooded by the time I woke up. And just I was in rescue mode and got my dog and got out.”

On Tuesday afternoon, San Diego County showed it’s in a relief and recovery mode. The Board of Supervisors approved, with a 4-1 vote, major steps to help those hit hard by the storm.

“We are the safety net of this community. We’re going to move $10 million. We’ve done it in the past when they’re in a humanitarian crisis,” Chairwoman Nora Vargas of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors said. “With these funds, it allows our County staff to be able to start working, be able to put out vouchers, how we can get additional food for folks.”

A joint statement sent out by the County from Vargas and Supervisor Monica Montgomery Steppe said "...In times of crisis, the needs of the people should always come first, and this board letter was a critical step in rebuilding our communities. Our community will prove its resilience, but my commitment is to demonstrate compassionate leadership and bring resources that help constituents get back on their feet.”

On Tuesday, Vargas' office told ABC 10News that the $10 million is from American Rescue Plan funding. The initiative puts an eviction moratorium and a series of fee waivers for flood victims into effect.

“Displacing folks is not the right thing to do. We were very clear in making sure this eviction moratorium will only be available for 60 days. And it’s going to be focused on those communities where the flood hit the hardest,” Vargas said.

This kind of vote can give something very simple to those like Rios who’ve lost everything.

“Well, we’re starting to get a little bit more hope that we’re going to get the assistance that we need. And a lot more people besides me need housing and need somewhere to stay. So we’re hoping with this vote that passed today, we’re going to get what we need,” Rios said.