Pictured is the San Benito River at Hospital Road Bridge in Hollister Jan. 5. Photo: Chris Mora

The deadline to apply for direct assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency was extended to July 20 for California residents in 12 counties who were impacted by winter storms. 

The extension gives residents in San Benito, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and other impacted counties an extra 45 days to seek assistance. The previous deadline was Monday. 

President Joe Biden issued a major disaster declaration in April, and expanded it in May, for counties throughout the state that were impacted by a series of atmospheric river storms that caused widespread flooding and property damage. 

As of last Thursday, more than $33.5 million had been approved for residents in affected counties, including nearly $15 million for direct aid to individuals and households, about $13 million for housing assistance, and about $2 million for other needs assistance, according to FEMA. 

Another $18.7 million was approved for disaster loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration for homeowners, renters and businesses. 

Assistance from FEMA can help impacted residents cover the cost of repairs caused by storm damage, rental assistance if a home is unlivable, and replacement or repair of furniture and clothing lost or damaged. 

Applications are available online at DisasterAssistance.gov, on the FEMA mobile app, or by calling FEMA at 800.621.3362. 

An accessible, online tutorial provided by the agency is available at youtube.com/watch?v=WZGpWI2RCNw

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