Ryan Sutherland, Harbor Patrol Officer II; Brian D. Pendleton, Ventura Port District General Manager; Michael Blumenberg, Port Commission Chair; Salud Carbajal, US Congressman; Jackie Gardina, Port Commission Vice-Chair; John Higgins, Harbormaster; Todd Mitchell, Senior Business Operations Manager; and Taylor Plasch, Harbor Patrol Officer I.
California Congressman Salud Carbajal, U.S. Representative of California’s 24th District, visited the Ventura Port District recently to survey the impacts of the early January Atmospheric River Rain Events to the Ventura Harbor area.
In the past weeks, severe winter storms have caused damage, including significant coastal beach erosion, debris flows into the Harbor and surrounding beaches, the District’s public launch ramp, private boats and docks within the City’s Ventura Keys, and City streets within the Harbor. Debris removal and repairs were hampered by the volume of material and extended period of rain, wind, wave action and storm surge. “These conditions presented risks to the public and having Congressman Carbajal assess the damage first-hand provided him with a good perspective of the impacts Ventura Harbor faces in recovery,” said the District’s Chair Michael Blumenberg.
“The efforts by our District’s staff, in particular the Ventura Harbor Patrol, are commendable. Our Harbor Patrol officers offer around the clock support to help safeguard the public and property whenever possible and went above and beyond during this series of events,” said Brian Pendleton, the District’s General Manager. “We will coordinate closely with the City and County in our recovery efforts for the Harbor area,” said Pendleton.
“I’m grateful to the Ventura Port District for helping me get an up-close look at the impact that the high surf and heavy rains of this month’s storms had on the Harbor and the Keys neighborhood. As the new representative for the harbor and the City of Ventura, I’m committed to supporting our Harbor residents, businesses, and industries in both these short-term recovery efforts and their longer-term maintenance needs,” said Congressman Salud Carbajal. “I have already joined local officials and the State of California in urging the Biden Administration to expand their major disaster declaration to include Ventura County, and I will continue to work with FEMA and other federal officials to ensure our entire region gets the support it needs to repair and rebuild.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on January 4, 2023, as a result of the winter storms with the City of Ventura following suit on January 6, 2023. The Board of Port Commissioners also declared a state of emergency for the Ventura Port District at its meeting on January 18, 2023, to authorize the General Manager to take any action required to respond to the emergency. Blumenberg stated, “It is important to have these measures in place to restore District assets and coordinate response efforts with local and state officials.”
Ventura County officials have declared that the cost of damages from these winter storms is expected to top $30 million.