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One Local Emergency Ends But Two Remain

Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors voted to formally put an end to one of the three local state of emergency declarations that have been in place over recent months.

Up until this week, the county had emergency declarations in place for tree mortality, severe weather/flooding and drought. The county supervisors are required to review the declarations every 30 days. While the board is continuing the tree mortality and drought declarations, it is ending the state of emergency for severe weather/flooding.

County Office of Emergency Services Coordinator Tracie Riggs says, “We’ve kept the other two in place because we are still experiencing issues related to both trees and drought, but with this one (flooding) we know that thankfully the storms have stopped, and the flooding has stopped. Even though staff continues to work on the consequences of those storms, we no longer have the immediate threat of flooding or storm damages.”

District Five Supervisor Karl Rodefer said half-jokingly, “Hallelujah. If you’re a baseball player, you have a good batting average, one-for-three.”

The Supervisors are keeping the tree mortality emergency declaration in place as several projects are currently underway, and additional dead trees continue to be discovered despite the extremely wet winter.

Related to drought, the county is moving towards winding down its water delivery program for residents that experienced depleted wells. The county has over 135 residences in the program, and the county is planning to submit a grant application to extend the water tank and delivery program one year past the June 30, 2017 potential expiration date. The county is considering giving the water tanks to the impacted customers, once water deliveries cease. There would be requirements, such as those individuals signing a hold harmless agreement. There is also the option of removing the tanks, and auctioning them off, but the value of the equipment is expected to be minimal when comparing it to the costs associated with physically removing the tanks.

The decisions related to the emergency declarations were made at this week’s supervisors meeting.