SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday declared his second state of emergency stemming from winter rainstorms that threaten to overburden California's system of levees, aqueducts, reservoirs and rivers.
The latest proclamation covers seven Northern and Central California counties -- Amador, Calaveras, Fresno, Merced, San Joaquin, San Mateo and Stanislaus -- which comprise some of the most productive farmland in the world.
Schwarzenegger's order is a legal device that helps free up state resources.
In February, the governor took similar action to speed repairs for the state's levee system statewide. He said "the already poor conditions of many levees creates conditions of imminent peril to those living near the levees, to the environment, businesses and the critical life support systems, such as drinking water."
On Monday, Schwarzenegger toured a state Department of Water Resources command center in Sacramento. He surveyed a wall-sized map showing California's 564-mile-long water-management system, which runs from Shasta Lake near Redding to Lake Perris in Southern California.