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Breed declares ‘retroactive’ emergency due to heavy rain

Waves crash along the shoreline at the Fort Point parking lot under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

San Francisco Mayor London Breed issued a retroactive emergency declaration on Monday to help the city respond to ongoing storm damage and flooding from storms that have hammered the region in the past two weeks.

The declaration would allow the city to speed up contracting and recover storm-related costs from the state and federal governments all the way back to Dec. 31, said the Mayor's Office in a press release. It must be ratified by the city’s Board of Supervisors in the next week and would last 30 days to start.

“We have been directing resources to support our residents and small businesses, and activating staff all across the City," Breed said in the release.

Pounding the city with about 8 inches of rain since New Year's Eve, the storm has flooded garages and dumped snow on the Sierras—and there is still more to come as heavy rain is set to resume early on Tuesday.

Much of the storm's impacts today have been south of the city as flooding and mudslides close roads in Santa Clara, San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties.

At a press conference on Sunday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he asked the White House to declare an emergency to speed up disaster relief and recovery efforts.

Breed drew criticism last week for blaming the National Weather Service for her office's underestimation of the severity of the New Year's Eve storm, even as the agency asserted it gave her over a week's notice about the impending wet weather.