Last night, the Sheriff’s Office announced via Facebook that Sheriff Billy Honsal has declared a state of emergency due to winter storms.

It said:

Sheriff William Honsal has declared a local emergency related to the ongoing life-threatening winter storm conditions and resulting damages experienced throughout Humboldt County.

Today’s Local Emergency Declaration allows for the county to seek state and federal reimbursement for damage repairs and other associated impacts. The County of Humboldt is requesting all available response and recovery assistance from the State of California as deemed appropriate by Governor Newsom, including funding under the California Disaster Assistance Act and the federal Stafford Act.

DID YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS SUSTAIN STORM-RELATED DAMAGES? Please complete the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services’damage report form to allow for an accurate calculation of total cost and scope of damage:

Sheriff’s deputies continue to assist with citizen rescues and emergency response related to the winter storm. If you or someone you know is trapped in their home or vehicle and has medical or other emergency needs requiring assistance, please contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251.

Highway 299 is still closed east of Blue Lake. Highway 36 is open to the Central Valley, but chains are required in several stretches.

The Sheriff’s Office says that it has been working to extract people from their snow-bound homes since things became socked in, and notes that the American Red Cross has set up a shelter in Willow Creek for people whose houses have become uninhabitable due to weather conditions. (UPDATE: The shelter has been moved to Trinity Valley Elementary School.)