Governor Jerry Brown has called upon President Barack Obama to declare Napa Valley a federal disaster area in the wake of the 6.0 magnitude earthquake that rattled the region two weeks ago, so that the city will receive federal funds to aid those affected.
Brown made his request Tuesday, according to NBC News in the Bay Area. The projected damages in the city of Napa alone, potentially costing as much as $1 billion, will not guarantee the provision of federal funding.
If President Obama does agree to declare a major disaster for Napa, Solano, and Sonoma Counties, federal assistance would be triggered, which could provide low-interest loans and grants to homeowners, notes NBC.
Inspectors and investigators from the government’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have been inspecting homes to calculate the costs of damages to create a benchmark and to determine what qualifies for federal assistance.
As for the likelihood that FEMA inspectors will provide financial assistance, Brown said, “They did say it’s in the works, but no commitments,” reports NBC.
A series of aftershocks have rattled Napa following the worst earthquake to shake Wine Country in 25 years. On Sunday, the Napa region suffered another 3.2 magnitude earthquake.
The quake struck at the busiest time of the year for business owners, who rely heavily on tourist traffic. Several business owners who did not suffer structural damage and were told they could continue with business as usual still worried that the earthquake might deter patrons from coming in. They emphasized to Breitbart News that they were open and operating normally.
The official Napa Valley visitor information center has been sending out a series of tweets urging tourists to visit Napa Valley’s vintners and other destinations throughout the region: