White House officials said President Joe Biden and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell would spend around three hours Thursday afternoon meeting with local officials and residents and touring areas of Santa Cruz County devastated by landslides, flooding and surf swells.
President Joe Biden’s tour Thursday of storm-ravaged regions of Santa Cruz County is set to include visits to Watsonville, the Capitola wharf and Seacliff State Beach, along with a helicopter ride over hard-hit communities in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
White House officials said Biden and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell would spend around three hours Thursday afternoon meeting with local officials and residents and touring areas of the county devastated by landslides, flooding and surf swells.
According to an itinerary published Wednesday, Biden is due to arrive at Moffett Federal Airfield in Mountain View shortly after noon and take a helicopter over the storm-damaged parts of the county before touching down in Watsonville just before 1 p.m.
He plans to meet at Capitola’s damaged wharf with business owners and residents affected by the storms, then travel to Seacliff State Beach in Aptos to meet with local elected leaders and first responders. He is scheduled to leave from Watsonville airport at around 4 p.m. Local media outlets have not been invited to cover Biden’s visit to Santa Cruz County.
ABOVE AND BEYOND IN THE STORMS
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The Santa Cruz County community has seen an outpouring of help and empathy these past few weeks as we endured historic storms.
We’ve heard of people, neighbors and strangers helping supply sandbags, rescuing pets, arriving with a chainsaw or a warm blanket and a pot of soup. And of officials and public safety people working late, coming up with creative, emergency solutions and rushing in to help each other.
We at Lookout want to mark these moments of kindness and community commitment.
We encourage you to publicly thank those who helped you. Please submit 200 words or fewer to email@example.com, telling us who showed you kindness, when and how. If you’ve got a photo, please send it along.
We will publish these on an ongoing basis through our letters to the editor section.
Last weekend, Biden approved a request for an expedited disaster declaration for several counties hit hard by the storms, including Santa Cruz. The declaration opens up federal aid for local governments to pay for cleanup and emergency repairs, along with financial support for residents whose homes have been damaged.
On Wednesday night, the Biden administration said it was amending the disaster declaration to allow federal funding to cover 100% of eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures over the first 60 days, up from 75%.
“The president has been closely monitoring the situation in California over the past several weeks and is being regularly briefed by his Homeland Security team,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told a media briefing on Wednesday.