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File #: 2019-1191   
Type: Consent Calendar Item Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 7/23/2019 In control: County Administrator
On agenda: 9/24/2019 Final action:
Title: Continue the Proclamation of a Local Emergency in the Sonoma County Operational Area Due to the 2019 Winter Storms and Flooding
Department or Agency Name(s): County Administrator
Attachments: 1. Summary Report, 2. FEMA Overall Project Map TPW 9-10-19

To: Sonoma County Board of Supervisors

Department or Agency Name(s): County Administrator’s Office

Staff Name and Phone Number: Michael Gossman, 565-2341

Vote Requirement: Majority

Supervisorial District(s): All




Continue the Proclamation of a Local Emergency in the Sonoma County Operational Area Due to the 2019 Winter Storms and Flooding


Recommended Actions:

Recommended action

Review and Continue the Proclamation of a Local Emergency in the Sonoma County Operational Area Due to the 2019 Winter Storms and Flooding.



Executive Summary:

On February 26, 2019, pursuant to California Government Code section 8630, the Sonoma County Supervisors declared a Local Emergency as powerful winter storms battered the county. On February 28, 2019, Governor Newsom declared a State of Emergency for Sonoma County. On May 17, 2019, the President declared a Federal Disaster for the severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides for 16 counties in California, including Sonoma County, for the incident period of February 24 to March 1, 2019. 


Sonoma County’s Health Officer declared a local health emergency on March 5, 2019 due to the scale of household hazardous waste scattered along waterways, roadsides, and on public and private properties after flooding.


At the March 7, 2019 Special Meeting, your Board ratified the County Health Officer’s proclamation of local health emergency due to the presence of significant household hazardous waste in the flood zone that requires proper disposal. 


Damage Assessment: Damage assessments estimated over $150 million in countywide flood damages.  Thirty-one structures received red tags, which means that the structure is damaged and poses an imminent threat to life or safety under expected loads or other unsafe conditions, while 527 structures received yellow tags, which means inspectors determined that there is some risk from damage to the structure.   Damage estimates also include approximately $4 million in physical agriculture damage.


In addition to private property damage, the County has identified over $58 million in damages to public property including debris removal, emergency protective measures, non-federal road and bridge systems, water control facilities, public buildings, public utilities, and park and recreational facilities.


The County experienced significant road damage on several sites that require exigent work to open or maintain the road as passable due to the importance of the routes.  The extent of repair work to date has been significant, and additional needs remain, including: 

                     Reopening Skaggs Springs Road and Bohemian Hwy. to normal traffic. This includes the removal and disposal of a large quantity of debris and activities necessary to make the roads safe for the public to use.


                     Winterization and temporary stabilization of at least five sites. Coleman Valley Road and King Ridge Road suffered multiple slip-outs. Several of these sites have active slides that continue to pose a risk. These sites require temporary stabilization work to ensure the roads remain safe and passable through the winter and that no further damage occurs.


A slow moving slide on Westside Avenue continues to be monitored by geologists and has caused four homes to be red-tagged. TPW anticipates further monitoring and that remedial work may become necessary at this location.  Many of these sites contain active landslides that are still unstable or actively continuing to slide, which means that assessment needs remain on-going and full assessment and repair must be timed to when conditions stabilize.


The total scale and severity of the above known and yet-assessed impacts exceed the capacity and/or expertise of County departments to provide immediate response. Whereas normally outside assistance could be procured, normal contracting process for services, equipment, and materials and other property takes several months, due to normal procedural requirements such as minimum advertising periods, assessing bids, noticing periods, and awarding and executing contracts. Such delays would mean that it would not be possible to perform the necessary measures to protect public health, public safety, essential public services, and property in a timely manner.


Team members met on July 12 and 15, 2019 with representatives of FEMA and the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) for a scoping meeting to review all aspects of project planning. A map of all current TPW sites is attached. Some of the 110 original sites were combined in an effort to categorize them, for a revised total of 51 TPW sites. State and Federal agency partners  performed site visits to assist the scoping efforts in August.  On September 10, 2019, the County finalized a list of 64 FEMA PA projects, including the 51 TPW sites identified on the map, with an estimated cost of $58.8 million.

In addition to the specific repairs described above, other urgent work is needed to repair erosion, culvert and roadway washouts, and other structural damage on these and other public roads, to ensure the continued, safe use of roadways in the affected areas, many of which are main routes of ingress and egress to remote areas. While long-term repairs and work are anticipated, immediate repair and construction is expected to continue through and be needed over the next several weeks to several months.

Furthermore, assessment of needs continues. Many areas and public facilities are in the process of being assessed or have not been able to be fully accessed or assessed to date. Extensive impacts to county roadways and other transportation infrastructure continue to be encountered, including from road washouts, landslides, and debris blockages. Also, numerous locations in the affected areas have experienced land and rockslides, and other evidence of slides and slope failure issues in the hilly areas has been observed and is actively being monitored for safety concerns and further action. These concerns and needs remain in flux and may be exacerbated, since the impacted areas may experience further rains.

Debris Collection: At the March 7, 2019 Special Meeting, the Board directed staff to offer curbside debris collection to assist Russian River communities with the significant amount of waste created by the flood disaster at no cost to residents.  This was in response to the health and environmental risk posed by flood debris accumulating in streets, parking lots and in other public areas.

The County collected roughly 4,000 tons of debris from March 1, 2019 through March 29, 2019.

As of August 26, 2019, the Recology bill is $1,952,529, subject to minor line item revisions.  The estimated monitoring bill from 4Leaf is $71,940 for a total of $2,024,469 before contingency (up to a 20% contingency has been presumed).  Contingency includes items such as traffic control, county staff time (drivers, field supervisors), signs, and accounting and record keeping.  Transportation and Public Works (TPW) contingency costs are currently estimated at $76,423, while non-TPW contingency costs are currently estimated at $158,208.  Total contingency costs are currently estimated at $234,630, an amount that is within the 20% contingency estimate.

Disaster Assistance: On March 6, 2019, Sonoma County requested California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA) assistance for Emergency Protective Measures (County emergency response and debris removal) and private property debris removal due to significant damages sustained during the event.  Governor Newsom authorized CDAA (CDAA-2019-01-06) for Sonoma County for the February 26, 2019 Flooding event.  Through the CDAA, the County is eligible for 75% State / 25% County cost share reimbursement for eligible expenses.

The May 17, 2019 Federal Declaration provides for both FEMA Public Assistance (PA) and FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).  FEMA Public Assistance provides assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities and the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.

On June 6, 2019, FEMA provided a FEMA PA Applicant’s Briefing.  FEMA held a Scoping Meeting on July 12, 2019 where the County officially gave FEMA the County’s preliminary List of Projects.   The County  worked with FEMA to build and finalize the List of Projects over a 60-day period. 

On September 10, 2019, the County finalized a list of 64 FEMA PA projects, including the 51 TPW sites identified on the map, with an estimated cost of $58.8 million.


With FEMA PA, the target cost reimbursement/contribution percentages are 75% Federal, 18.75% State, and 6.25% County. Based on these percentages and the preliminary estimate of $58.8 million, the cost reimbursement/contribution would be $44.1 million Federal, $11.0 million State, and $3.7 million County.

Immediate response costs totaling $2.5 million were programmed on March 12, 2019.  This includes a $625,000 match and $1,875,000 of State disaster aid.  Funding for the match includes $125,000 of contingencies, $250,000 from the Reinvestment and Revitalization Fund, and $250,000 from the Transportation and Public Works Special Concessions Fund. 

As of July 16, 2019, the County has received no Federal or State funds.  Best estimates are that it may be the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020 before the County receives the funds.  Further, the initial match requirements were calculated based on initial costs estimates and the assumption that a federal disaster would not be declared, which affects match levels.  Any unneeded or excess local match components will be returned proportionally to the funds from which match was provided when reimbursements are received.

Government Code section 8630 requires the Board of Supervisors to review the need for continuing the local emergency at least once every sixty (60) days until the local emergency has been terminated.  Because threats to public health, safety and the environment remain from damages caused by the floods, there is a need to continue the local emergency for another 60 days.  Specifically, there are still roadways and drainage structures that have not been adequately stabilized, reopened, or repaired.  Compromised facilities and temporary repairs may not be able to withstand the upcoming winter season without additional temporary work prior to permanent repairs being made. Until the roads and drainage ways are fully stabilized, the local emergency is expected to continue. Pending funding, design, and construction, such work is anticipated being done by November 2019.


Prior Board Actions:

August 6, 2019: the Board declared the need for continuing the local emergency.

June 11, 2019: the Board declared the need for continuing the local emergency.

April 16, 2019: the Board declared the need for continuing the local emergency.

February 26, 2019: the Board of Supervisors adopted Resolution No. 19-0096 proclaiming a local emergency.


Fiscal Summary


FY 18-19 Adopted

FY19-20 Projected

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Narrative Explanation of Staffing Impacts (If Required):




FEMA Overall Project Map TPW 9-10-19


Related Items “On File” with the Clerk of the Board: