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Remarks to California Flood Victims

January 11, 1995

Good afternoon. I want to speak to you today about the ferocious floods now battering California.

In recent times, unrelenting rains have ravaged many places across our great country, rains that have destroyed people's homes, devastated families, carried away the fruits of many, many years of hard work. There can be no greater challenge to a community than facing down these terrifying tides. Yet that is what Americans can do so well. And that is what you, the people of California, are doing at this very minute.

I want you to know that you have my support and the support of our administration to fight this battle the way it has to be fought. Late last night, I declared a major disaster across California and asked James Lee Witt, the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to oversee our efforts to quickly provide the necessary assistance and to get you moving on the road to recovery. At 1 o'clock our time last night, he assured me that that is exactly what he would do. We're working closely with Governor Wilson, Senator Boxer, and Senator Feinstein, with all the local, State, and Federal officials to fight the flooding.

Let me say a special word of thanks to all the young volunteers from AmeriCorps, our national service program, and the other volunteers for the quick and good work they have done and are doing. Californians have proven over the last few years they have a very resilient spirit. And in a great sense of community, with the earthquakes and the fires, you have shown that you're a people who can come together in times of crisis and overcome those crises.

Our administration has stood with you. Almost a year ago, those of you in the Los Angeles area were awakened by that terrible quake. We stood by you then, by making available billions of dollars and thousands of workers to help in the rebuilding effort, and we'll stand with you again.

Hillary and I send our thoughts and our prayers to the families whose loved ones have died and the thousands of you whose lives have been disrupted. We wish you well. We'll get through this in good American style.

NOTE: The President spoke at 3:02 p.m. by satellite from the Roosevelt Room at the White House.

William J. Clinton, Remarks to California Flood Victims Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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