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Napa River rises

The entry into the Oxbow Pass at Soscol Avenue and First Street remained closed Wednesday evening, as water continued to flow through the flood-relief channel in downtown Napa.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced this weekend that he had issued an emergency proclamation in Napa County and seven others due to serious damage caused by winter storms.

Newsom's office also announced that the state submitted a request to President Donald Trump Saturday in hopes that he would issue Presidential Major Disaster Declarations to help state, local and tribal governments with repairing and replacing damaged roads, bridges and utilities, according to a Saturday afternoon press release.

Napa County was one of several counties singled out the state's letter to Trump. The storm caused major slip-outs and damage to areas still vulnerable from the 2017 wildfires, the local Federal Emergency Management Agency coordinator wrote.

In California, the state may issue emergency proclamations when the state finds local authorities are not equipped to deal with the aftermath of an event — in this case, damage and flooding caused by atmospheric river storm systems. The U.S. Geological Survey defines atmospheric rivers as long, narrow storms that carry "tremendous amounts" of water vapor.

The state's proclamation will, in part, direct the state Transportation Department to request assistance through the Federal Highway Administration's Emergency Relief Program and the Office of Emergency Services to assist local governments, according to a statement sent Friday night.

The storms damaged roads, highways and other critical infrastructure in Napa, Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Mariposa, Santa Cruz, Solano and Tuolumne Counties, Newsom announced Friday night. The governor had previously declared a state of emergency in February for another 25 counties.

In total, the governor has declared a state of emergency related to these storms in 33 of California's 58 counties.

Newsom's proclamation allows Napa Valley residents who lost their jobs as a result of the storm to receive unemployment benefits without the usual one-week waiting period. It also waives fees for people who lost their driver's license, car registration or certificate of title in the storm, and waives state requirements to register or transfer their car titles in a timely manner, according to the proclamation.

Fees are also waived for those seeking to replace lost divorce records, and birth, death or marriage certificates as a result of the storm.

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Public Safety Reporter

Courtney Teague is the Napa Valley Register public safety reporter. She can be reached at 707-256-2221. You can follow her reporting on Twitter and Facebook, or send her anonymous tip at: tinyurl.com/anonymous-tipbox-courtney.