Maldonado Asks Obama for Disaster Declaration

By The Associated Press
|  Thursday, Dec 30, 2010  |  Updated 10:30 AM PDT
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Maldonado Asks Obama for Disaster Declaration

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SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 22: Rescue official Rick Stel guides a raft down a flooded street after a powerful rainstorm December 22, 2010 in San Diego, California. Forty-seven guests were stranded at the Premiere Hotel after floodwaters rose and blocked them from getting to dry land. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

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Acting Gov. Abel Maldonado is asking President Barack Obama to declare a major disaster in California because of the severe winter storms that have slammed the state in recent weeks.

In a letter sent Wednesday, Maldonado urged the president for the funds and help from federal agencies that come with a disaster declaration, citing flooding and severe mud and debris flows that have led to damages to public facilities and private property since the wave of storms began Dec. 18.

Maldonado says an effective response is beyond the ability of state and local governments, especially with the state's budget problems.

The letter says help is needed most in San Bernardino County, where 50 homes remain evacuated in Highland after being swamped by a pre-Christmas mudflow.

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