Residents of Pajaro, California, a flooded community in Monterey County, are furious at Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and President Joe Biden for failing to deliver the federal disaster aid that was promised earlier this month.
As Breitbart News reported March 12, a levee that had not been improved in decades broke during storms and caused a large area of the Pajaro Valley, where many of the nation’s vegetables are grown, to be flooded.
Flooded strawberry fields in Pajaro, California, US, on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. Flooding from a levee breach on the Pajaro River Friday put nearly 2,000 residents under mandatory evacuation orders. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Gov. Newsom visited and promised $42 million in relief aid. However, it turned out that the aid had been signed into law years earlier by President Donald Trump as part of coronavirus relief, and only $300,000 was available. Worse yet, the $300,000 was not specifically for flood relief, but was available in the form of $600 for farmworkers.
Relief workers vented their frustration last week at Newsom’s apparent broken promise.
Now, the situation is even worse, according to the San Jose Mercury News , as residents recall Newsom promising that the president had promised him “an ‘immediate response’” to the state’s request for a federal disaster declaration. But the state had not yet provided that response, because they had yet to identify 1,200 homes that had suffered major damage. Many of the residents of Pajaro are currently homeless.
The Mercury News reported :
“They let us down,” said Monterey County spokesperson Nicholas Pasculli. “We’re still waiting on the presidential emergency declaration that was promised to us over a week ago. Governor, please pick up the phone and call the president and ask him to have empathy for the suffering of people in Pajaro. Ask him to sign the declaration.”
When evacuation orders are lifted, residents won’t be going back to the same Pajaro they left. There is still no potable water or working sewer system in the town, and about 400 buildings — nearly half of those in the town — were damaged by the flooding, according to a preliminary damage assessment by CalFire.
Newsom has been on a statewide tour, giving speeches in lieu of a formal “State of the State” address, sending a letter to the legislature instead.
Earlier this month, Newsom disappeared on a personal trip to Mexico as the state battled deadly blizzards.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’ . He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election . He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak .