Many reservoirs in California's Central Valley are groaning at full capacity, and at least 10 more days of rain are forecast for the region.
"We saw in New Orleans the storm was coming in, it was known days ahead, and we're not sure they took all the steps that they could have," said Rodney Mayer, acting chief of the California division of flood management.
Schwarzenegger had already declared a state of emergency for California's levee system in February, a step that freed up about $103 million for repairs to 24 flood-prone sites.
His new declaration Monday didn't specify an amount of aid but directed "all agencies of the state" to dispatch staff, equipment and facilities.
Thanks to Cristina Polyzoides