Urgent Storm Relief Needed for Ventura County
Dear Ventura County Community Foundation Family,
Today, I am reaching out to you with an urgent appeal for assistance on behalf of the resilient residents of Oxnard, Ventura and Port Hueneme, who were devastated by the catastrophic floods that struck our communities in late December. These families are in desperate need of your support to rebuild their lives and homes.
On the early morning hours of December 21, 2023, a rogue storm cell developed off the coast of Ventura County, eventually making landfall, and dropping nearly 3.25 inches of rain in just 45 minutes. Flash flooding occurred as a result of the high-intensity rain causing water intrusion to over 400 homes, 50 of which saw water over 18 inches in the structure. Nearly 650 vehicles were either severely damaged or destroyed because of this incident.
The aftermath of this event has left a trail of destruction in its wake, particularly for those who were not covered by flood insurance. Many of the affected residents are seniors living in low-income communities, making them particularly vulnerable to the financial burdens brought about by this disaster. Making matters even worse, local agencies have been unsuccessful in qualifying for FEMA assistance due to damage thresholds having not been met.
Prior to receiving help from the FEMA Individual Assistance Program, Ventura County Emergency Managers must demonstrate the severity by documenting at least 1,200 destroyed structures. Absent meeting this high threshold and obtaining FEMA assistance, residents are left with just one option for help: a low-interest disaster relief loan from the Small Business Administration. To qualify for a loan, you must be a U.S. Citizen and be capable of paying back the funds you have borrowed. Many of the areas impacted were home to low-income residents incapable of paying back a loan, as well as undocumented individuals who do not meet the eligibility requirements of the Small Business Administration.
1. Emergency Relief: Your donation will provide immediate assistance, including food, clothing and temporary shelter, for those who have lost everything in the floods. Your support will help these families regain their footing during these trying times.
2. Home Restoration: We aim to help these residents rebuild their homes and lives. Your funding will go towards remediating mold and restoring damaged homes, ensuring that these families have a safe and stable place to live once again.
3. Community Support: Seniors living in these communities have faced unparalleled challenges. Your assistance will help establish support networks for them, including access to healthcare, transportation and counseling services to address the emotional trauma they’ve endured.
4. Long-Term Resilience: Your contribution will also support initiatives aimed at enhancing the resilience of these communities against future disasters. We will work together to implement measures that reduce the risk of such devastation happening again.
Your support can truly make a significant impact on the lives of those who have been most severely affected. No donation is too small, and every dollar brings us one step closer to rebuilding our community.
The County of Ventura and the Cities of Ventura, Oxnard and Port Hueneme have partnered with the Ventura County Community Foundation to serve as the fiduciary agent for donations. A multiagency advisory group comprised of local government officials has been established to oversee the distribution of funds. Thanks to the generosity of VCCF, 100% of your donation will be distributed to the community.
Together, we can be the beacon of hope these families desperately need during this challenging time. Your generosity will not only rebuild homes, but also restore faith in the power of compassion and community.
Thank you for considering this request, and for your ongoing commitment to making a positive change in the lives of those who need it most. Your support means the world to us.
Patrick Maynard, Director of the Office of Emergency Services for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office
Donate Now to Support Our Community
Ventura County residents are in need of urgent assistance following the historic, destructive flash flooding of December 2023. Over 400 homes and 650 vehicles have been damaged, and predominately senior citizens and low-income families are without insurance or FEMA assistance to recover.
“While the scale of this flooding was small relative to FEMA’s national standards, the devastation was immense to our residents; the lack of swift, robust support is starting to feel like Katrina for them. They await a calvary that’s nowhere in sight.” Alexander Nguyen, Oxnard City Manager
“The storm impacted vulnerable members of our community including seniors on fixed incomes, and the road to recovery is long and difficult. Members of our community are struggling, and need your help to recover.” James Vega, City Manager of Port Hueneme
February 9, 2024 – STORMS hit as PH waits for aid, Tri-County Sentry
February 8, 2024 – Flood of support: Ventura County Storm Fund helps local flood victims ineligible for federal aid, VC Reporter
February 8, 2024 – Ventura County Community Foundation seeking donations for local victims of December storms, KEYT
February 1, 2024 – Oxnard family loses everything in recent storm, KCAL
January 26, 2024 – Plea For Help For Victims Of Pre-Christmas Thunderstorm In Ventura County, KVTA
January 18, 2024 – Port Hueneme, Oxnard continue storm recovery efforts, VC Star
January 12, 2024 – Federal agency opens Oxnard center; disaster loans available for residents, businesses, VC Star
January 12, 2024 – December storm causes millions in damage at Port of Hueneme, VC Star
January 11, 2024 – FEMA aid for Ventura County residents unlikely after storm damages 400 homes, officials say, VC Star
December 26, 2023 – Storm damage: Hundreds of homes, vehicles damaged in Oxnard, Port Hueneme, VC Star
December 22, 2023 – Port Hueneme residents dealing with aftermath of storms including totaled cars and property damage, KEYT
December 21, 2023 – Severe rainstorms hit southern California, with more to come, The Guardian
December 21, 2023 – ‘I got nowhere to go back to;’ storm floods homes, prompts evacuations in Port Hueneme, KTLA
December 21, 2023 – Historic, ‘genuinely extraordinary’ rainfall in Ventura County stuns experts, causes flooding, LA Times
December 21, 2023 – Port Hueneme residents take brunt of storm, VC Star