Long-Term Recovery Priorities
Imagine 17,500 Washington, D.C., housing units were consumed during a period of dire regional and governmental fiscal crisis. What if nearly 40,000 District residents experienced long-term displacement over a period of only four years, and local government was understaffed by greater than 20%, with precious few opportunities to raise revenue?
As local non-profits became overwhelmed, and tens of thousands of residents were discussing with their families whether it was still viable to live in D.C., national newspapers would lament the humanitarian crisis enveloping neighborhoods and tearing away at every fiber of social fabric.
What if all of this occurred against a backdrop of fire scarred landscapes, and important local landmarks were just gone, and no one was sure whether they were ever coming back?
Lake County has been severely affected by our 10 disasters since 2015.
• After four devastating fire seasons, 60% of our land mass has burned.
• 1,950 housing units, including 1,825 homes, were lost to fire since 2015, 5.5% of our housing stock. For context, imagine nearly 11,000 City of Sacramento homes were consumed during a time of dire fiscal crisis.
• Our County Roads Commissioner has identified $50 million in critically needed road network repairs.
• $80 million in water and sewer infrastructure development is needed to facilitate full recovery.
• Resource limitations have rendered our rebuild effort slow going. A Disaster Recovery Local Sales Tax Measure was proposed in June 2018, and defeated 60% to 40%.
No other California county is dealing with such compounding effects of disaster. Throughout our disaster response, we have operated at 80% staffing levels. December 4, 2018, the Lake County Board of Supervisors adopted a plan to implement draconian cuts required to weather the devastating effects upon our communities and County finances.
Our communities, including employees of some previously thriving Lake County businesses, are now teetering in the face of a PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff-created unknown, and this is unreasonable and unacceptable.
Lake County needs strong Federal and State partnership to end the many disasters brought by fire and flood; with a poverty rate nearly double the national average, our residents cannot reasonably be expected to fully bear the cost of recovery.