Biden to Visit Northeast Flood Zones as Demand for Climate Increases


As residents scramble to clean up and assess the catastrophic flash floods that ravaged the Northeast last week, President Biden prepared to visit challenging areas in New York and New Jersey. disaster.

The deadly deluge from the remnants of Hurricane Ida, which killed more than 45 people in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, precipitated the wars that began with Hurricane Sandy in 2012 over how to slow and protect communities from climate change. The floods sharpen the debate over whether city, state and national leaders, even those who advocate overtly strong measures like Mr. Biden, are doing enough.

Biden’s trip comes as he and Democratic leaders scramble to get Congress to include measures to reduce planet-warming emissions into a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and raise funds to protect communities from disasters like last week.

But some climate groups blame his administration for including large new funds to build and expand highways as part of the measure.

In New York and New Jersey, advocates of tougher climate action hope the disaster will give new impetus to ambitious state and local climate laws and regulations and help overcome opposition to City Council’s broader proposals, such as a bill to ban gas heating. stoves in all new buildings.

New York governor Kathy Hochul and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio have pledged to step up the fight to address climate change, as state and city agencies show off to help residents apply for benefits and file insurance claims. But Some residents still complain days after the flood, he said no officials had gone to their block yet.

Miss Hochul on Sunday said on Twitter It said it has allocated $378 million in federal disaster funds to protect New York residents against the effects of climate change, and will “work with local governments to identify and fix vulnerabilities so that this level of damage doesn’t happen again.”

New York Democrat and majority leader Senator Chuck Schumer, seize the moment to add protection against extreme weather to the budget. But some New York residents wanted more.

Dozens of demonstrators life jackets — each standing for a New Yorker who died in the flood — in front of Mr. Schumer’s Brooklyn home on Saturday, urging him to support him $1.43 trillion offer for a “Green New Deal” for public schools.

Climate and environmental justice groups said they would also be on the lookout for Mr. Biden. Their message: The deaths – at least 13 in New York and at least 27 in New Jersey – show that government measures have stalled, both to curb the burning of oil and gas that causes climate change, and to protect people from climate change. storms, fires and heat waves that become more frequent and intense as the planet warms.

Rachel Rivera, who lives in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn and is campaigning against a new gas pipeline there, said she wanted to force not only Mr. to keep us safe.”

“It’s not one or the other,” he said. “Both. They talk big in every storm, but then they do nothing.”

Ms. Rivera joined New York Communities for Change, which works on environmental and public housing issues after her roof collapsed during Hurricane Sandy. She said her teenage daughter still experiences traumatic flashbacks when it rains.

Mr. Biden will visit New York’s borough of Queens, which is home to many of the New York residents who died in the floods last week. Most drowned when rainwater gushed into basement apartments violating housing rules.

The president will also visit Manville, NJ, which recorded 10 inches of rain in Wednesday’s downpour, forcing residents to rescue them by helicopter and boat.

Both New York and New Jersey were devastated by Hurricane Sandy nearly nine years ago, prompting new policies and grassroots movements to address climate change. Ambitious infrastructure plans have been devised for renewable energy development and coastal protections such as seawalls and dune restoration. Public pension funds began to divest from fossil fuel companies, and laws were passed requiring sharp cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

However, many of these projects are unfinished, and even more comprehensive proposals have not become law. Supporters of more ambitious ideas, such as the city bill to ban gas-firing equipment in new homes, are now mobilizing for a new move.

These are a growing number of local deputies who has chosen on promises to reduce carbon emissions and take bold action to address the problems and inequalities in housing, transportation, disaster preparedness and other areas that are allowed to fester and make extreme weather more deadly.

Minor issues that may not have been noticed before the floods are already gaining attention. protest planned In Queens on Monday, she opposes state legislator Jenifer Rajkumar over a proposal for a parking space she supports inside Forest Park, one of the county’s largest green spaces.

The official response to the most recent disaster began only on Sunday. The police went door to door searching for missing persons. Government agencies set up command centers in flooded neighborhoods to help people get information and assistance. New York’s Department of Sanitation collected storm debris and said it would reverse the garbage collectors’ plan to remove Labor Day.

Linda Bowman, another member of the New York Exchange Communities, was dealing with a second flood on the Rockaway peninsula in Queens; During Sandy, his house was also flooded.

“I need help,” he said. “Not just talking.”


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