Planada residents still displaced by the January flood events have been provided with housing plans.
Merced County collaborated with its federal, state, and community partners to identify and develop the housing plans for families located at the Felix Torres Migrant Center, which was used as a temporary housing site following the floods.
The Felix Torres Migrant Center is owned by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and operated by the Merced County Housing Authority. As flooding across the state began in late 2022, CalOES, HCD, and the Merced Housing Authority collaborated to quickly open up the seasonal housing units as an interim but immediate refuge to individuals and families fleeing their homes in the wake of dangerous and widespread flooding.
The site originally housed 45 families. From that number, 26 families identified a plan for housing, while the remaining 19 needed assistance finding suitable options. All of those 19 households will either be placed in temporary housing until their home repairs are completed or a permanent home is identified.
Catholic Charities will provide ongoing Disaster Case Management Services for the residents. Case Management services will be available to all Merced County impacted FEMA registered individuals for up to 2 years. These services assist with unmet needs and advocacy for individuals.
United Way continues to assist in coordinating local community based organizations to get identified needs into the community. Residents can contact United Way 211 for information on available resources in the community.
As a reminder to flood-impacted residents, the FEMA application period ends on March 16, 2023 for the January flood events.
We are grateful for the commitment from Catholic Charities, United Way, Merced Housing Authority, CalOES, and HCD to ensure that an emergency shelter was rapidly opened for individuals and families to evacuate and to now continue to assist on the road to recovery.
"We are working hard to accommodate residents affected by the flood events," said Supervisor Rodrigo Espionsa, whose District 1 includes Planada. "Merced County greatly appreciates the help we're receiving from our partners in this effort."
With additional storm systems impacting the west coast, residents are advised to avoid unnecessary travel during storm events and be prepared for any potential future evacuations. Being ready to put together a "go-bag" is one way to be prepared, and can include items such as wallets, purses, keys, cell phones, chargers, important documents, toiletries, medication, changes of clothes, etc.
When traveling during a storm, residents are asked to avoid flooded roads, remain clear of fast-moving creeks and rivers, and follow all emergency signage. When driving in the rain, always turn on your low-beam headlights.
Follow “Merced County” and the “Merced County Office of Emergency Services” on social media for future updates