October 17, 2023

CONTACT: Mike North
209-617-1596 or [email protected]
Merced County Receives $20 Million in Flood Relief for Planada

MERCED—Last week, Merced County received $20 million in flood relief funding dedicated for the community of Planada in the most recent State Budget—money that will be used to help impacted residents recover from the severe storm events they experienced earlier this year.
An item will be placed on the October 24, 2023 Board of Supervisors agenda for the Board to formally accept the funding from the California State Office of Emergency Services. This funding was secured in the most recent State Budget thanks to the legislative efforts of Senator Anna Caballero and Assemblywoman Esmeralda Soria who championed the community of Planada, along with several community-based organizations and County who were instrumental in providing support.
“On behalf of the Board of Supervisors, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the outstanding work undertaken by both Senator Caballero and Assemblywoman Soria to secure this funding,” said Scott Silveira, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “This will help one of our most vulnerable communities better recover from the unprecedented storms of 2023.”
In anticipation of the funding, Merced County staff has already begun developing programs related to direct financial assistance, vehicle replacement, home inspections, home repairs, remediation and enhancements to infrastructure. With those efforts in progress, staff will conduct a series of community-focused workshops and plan development meetings in Planada that will occur in the evenings and weekends beginning at the end of October. These workshops will be designed for the community to provide feedback on the plans regarding distribution of financial relief and other elements, and to offer ideas of their own. More information on these strategies will be shared in the coming weeks. 
“Planada is a special community and has faced so many challenges this past year,” said District 1 Supervisor Rodrigo Espinosa. “I am very proud of how this community has rallied together, and am very hopeful this funding will help those most in need.”
Locally, more than $5 million has been spent to-date on response and recovery efforts for the 2023 Flood Events and an additional $13 million in Direct Assistance has been provided by the State to support debris removal efforts. 
With weather forecasters predicting the possibility of another winter season with above average-rainfall, Merced County continues to focus on waterway maintenance and emergency preparedness. As always, the public is encouraged to sign up for Merced County emergency alerts at www.countyofmerced.com/alert.

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