California Governor Gavin Newsom faced criticism after it was revealed that he had taken a personal trip to Baja California during a period of devastating winter storms that had left many residents struggling. Newsom had declared a state of emergency in 13 counties, including Los Angeles, due to the weather, and it is unclear why he opted to travel out of the state at that time.
According to his office, Newsom returned to the state on Sunday and met with emergency personnel to receive a briefing on current conditions. He was photographed receiving an update on winter storms and the state’s efforts to support disaster response and relief efforts. Meanwhile, residents in hard-hit areas were still trying to return to normal life, with free food distribution centers set up in some communities.
Newsom’s office stated that significant numbers of state personnel were on the ground supporting affected areas, including from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol, CAL FIRE, and the California National Guard working closely with the county-led Incident Command to rapidly deploy resources and address emergency management needs. Caltrans employees had removed over 7.2 million cubic yards of snow off state highways in San Bernardino County, while private contractors had removed another 970,000 cubic yards of snow from state routes 18 and 330.