California

Sonoma County Storm Damage Estimated at $155 Million

The county's health services department will have representatives from animal services, environmental health, and behavioral Health to provide mental health support and referral

Days of heavy rains and flooding along the Russian River have caused an estimated $155 million in damage across Sonoma County, officials said Saturday.

Properties affected include 1,900 homes -- 1,760 with major damage -- and 578 businesses, according to county estimates.

"This is a heartbreaking time for our community," said Fifth District Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, whose district was hit hardest by the flooding. "We appreciate everyone's patience as we all work together to help our community recover. We've done it before and we can do it again."

A local assistance center will open Sunday in Guerneville to provide services to Sonoma County residents affected by recent storms and flooding.

Government agencies and nonprofits will be represented at the center, and all county residents can access services regardless of immigration status, according to a Sonoma County spokeswoman.

County departments at the center will include Permit Sonoma, to provide over-the-counter permits for some repairs and to begin the permit process for structural work and building safety, according to a release from Sonoma County spokeswoman Briana Khan.

In addition, the county's human services department will take applications for CalFresh food benefits and Medi-Cal.

The county's health services department will have representatives from animal services, environmental health, and behavioral Health to provide mental health support and referral.

The Sonoma County Community Development Commission will support other housing needs.

California state agencies on hand will include the Department of Motor Vehicles (Monday-Saturday) for those needing identification or driver licenses.

The state department of insurance will be available (Monday-Saturday) to provide insurance support and the Contractors State Licensing Board will provide contracting support and resources.

Nonprofits, including United Policyholders (Wednesday-Thursday), American Red Cross, and The Salvation Army will provide additional resources and support to local residents.

The assistance center will also have information on topics related to the flood including debris drop-off locations for non-hazardous waste, and dates and times for hazardous waste drop offs as well as important health and safety information.

The center will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the former Bank of America Building, 16390 Main St. in Guerneville.

From Monday through Saturday, the center will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Current emergency information is available at www.socoemergency.org.

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