Neither California nor the federal government have a cost estimate yet for the response to storms and flooding in the state.
The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, and the state departments of Water Resources and Finance say they are keeping track of expenses, but won’t tally them while still conducting response efforts.
Last week President Donald Trump officially cleared the way for federal aid to the state by declaring the flooding a major disaster. That at least signifies a cost floor.
There's a minimum requirement for a presidential declaration of a major disaster, which is $1.43 per resident of the state. By that metric, the federal government assumes California will need at least $55 million in aid just for January storms, but the actual cost is likely much higher, and that’s not even counting the emergency at Oroville Dam.
South Carolina, a state of less than 5 million people, estimated that flooding in 2015 cost $1.5 billion.