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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 13, 1995


Today, I am declaring that a major disaster exists in California. Federal funds will begin to flow to the individuals and communities affected by this latest terrible act of nature. California has been badly hit by Mother Nature during the last two years -- wildfires, the Northridge Earthquake, January's flood and now this flooding. But California has not been beaten. That is because of the great fortitude, spirit and can do attitude of its people. I saw this spirit when I visited the town of Roseville in January, as neighbor helped neighbor cope with the tragedy of destroyed homes, possessions and livelihoods.

I know these are difficult times for many Californians. My administration will do all that we can to help permit life to return to normalcy as soon as possible. James Lee Witt, our Federal Emergency Management Agency director, has gotten all too familiar with California during the last two years. I am directing Director Witt and his staff to begin the flow of programs and to continue to perform its tele-registration and other outreach functions with the same enthusiasm and customer service orientation that we are now used to. I met some of those outreach people in January. They make us all proud.

State and local officials are working around the clock to rescue victims and fight the floods. And The American Red Cross is providing food, comfort and shelter to those in need. Most importantly, the thousands of volunteers in communities throughout California are all working together in this difficult time. This community spirit is truly the best America has to offer.

Hillary and I send our thoughts and prayers to the families of those who have lost their lives. The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with them as well.