President Joseph Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Biden:
We are writing concerning the recent impacts of Tropical Storm Hilary, the first tropical storm to hit Inland Southern California in decades.
We ask that you send federal disaster assistance to California so the areas that were hardest hit by the storm can be provided with the federal resources necessary to respond to the storm’s devastating effects.
As Members of Congress who represent Inland Southern California – the counties of Imperial, Riverside, and San Bernardino – we have witnessed the destruction that Tropical Storm Hilary had on our districts.
Inland Southern California has been hit with the most rainfall and strongest winds, with winds reaching as fast as 50 miles per hour. This storm undoubtedly resulted in historic levels of flooding that devastated the region, and Tropical Storm Hilary dropped more than half an average years’ worth of rain – 10.5 inches – in the Coachella, Imperial, and San Bernardino Valleys.
Tropical Storm Hilary has resulted in the flooding of homes, destruction of highways, derailment of trains, and damage to small businesses in our districts. Additional federal disaster assistance will support the various jurisdictions throughout Southern California in their response and recovery efforts and will bring much-needed federal resources to under-resourced and economically stressed areas.
This past Saturday, Governor Newsom declared a “State of Emergency” for California.
Additionally, counties and municipalities in our districts called for evacuations to prevent harm from the tropical storm. While our communities took swift action to prepare for the storm, many
families did not have the resources to protect their homes or adequate means to recover from the devastation.
Our region’s infrastructure was not built to withstand these types of natural disasters. Tropical Storm Hilary has resulted in historic flooding and power outages with life-threatening consequences.
We have just witnessed first-hand the effect of climate change on a region not built with hurricanes in mind.
We urge you to swiftly send federal disaster assistance in compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations. We thank you for your consideration of this request.
Raul Ruiz, M.D. , Mark Takano, Norma Torres, Pete Aguilar
Members of Congress