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March 20, 2023

FEMA extends Disaster Recovery Centers in Santa Cruz County

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—Though the Disaster Recovery Center at Ramsay Park in Watsonville closed up shop Feb. 10, services are now offered at Watsonville City Hall.

Starting Thursday, Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in Watsonville and Felton were extended to continue providing recovery services to residents impacted by the atmospheric rivers in Santa Cruz County in December and January.   

Staff from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Small Business  Administration will continue to be available for in-person recovery assistance for residents and  businesses, said Jason Hoppin, spokesperson for the County of Santa Cruz.  

President Joe Biden authorized a major disaster declaration for the storms, freeing up federal funding for recovery. 

DRCs will be available at the following locations and times:

• Watsonville City Hall, 250 Main St., 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday 

• Santa Cruz County Governmental Center, 701 Ocean St., 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday

• San Lorenzo Valley, Felton Branch Library, 6121 Gushee St., 10am-6pm, Monday-Friday

County recovery staff will be available during regular business hours at 701 Ocean St. 

The Watsonville center dealt with hundreds of community members impacted by the recent winter storms. To date, the center, combined with a similar center in Felton, helped more than 1,800 Santa Cruz County residents apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency benefits and other local services.

The deadline to apply for FEMA aid for damages or losses related to the January storms is March 16. Eligible residents who have not yet begun the recovery process are encouraged to stop by the centers or call 1.800.621.FEMA (3362), download the FEMA app, or visit

To reach the Recovery Permit Center, call 454.5323 or email [email protected] during business hours. 

Additional resources are available at the Virtual Recovery Center at

For Watsonville residents rebuilding and repairing storm-damaged properties, call the Community Development Department at 768.3050 for assistance with permits.

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.



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