President Joe Biden toured the fatal Northeast flood devastation Tuesday, blaming climate change for being to blame. He said he was thinking of all the families who suffered “deep” losses due to Hurricane Ida’s severe aftermath.
Biden was in New Jersey and planned to visit New York City to assess the aftermath of Ida’s devastation and push for federal spending to reinforce infrastructure in the region and beyond to protect people and property from future storms better.
“Every part of the country is being impacted by catastrophic weather,” Biden said during a briefing at the Somerset County disaster management training facility attended by federal, state, and local authorities, including New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.
Biden flagged the threat posed by wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, and other forms of extreme weather as a must for addressing in ways that mitigate the devastation caused by climate change.
“We won’t be able to reverse it significantly, but we can keep it from getting worse,” he explained. Biden stated that scientists have been warning for decades that this day would come and that immediate action was required.
“We are out of time,” he stated emphatically.
Congress has yet to act on Biden’s plan to invest $1 trillion in national infrastructure.
“I’m hoping to see the problems that we’ll be able to solve permanently with the infrastructure bill that we’ve introduced,” he said as he exited the White House.
The aftermath of Hurricane Ida caused severe damage in the north-eastern United States, prompting officials and lawmakers to warn that climate change would bring more similar catastrophes. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that people should be prepared for “the very, very worst” scenarios.
Despite a National Hurricane Center forecast of “considerable and potentially life-threatening flash flooding,” the strength of the storm on Wednesday night came as a surprise to many. Dozens died in New York City alone. In Manhattan, several people drowned in basement apartments.
Politicians acknowledged the devastation that followed due to climate change, with many politicians stating that it was due to global warming. The situation was described as “catastrophic” by both political parties. Many people have fled their homes in Houston and neighboring areas following the devastating hurricane Harvey, now considered one of the worst.
“Woe unto us if we don’t recognize these changes as owing to climate change,” said the upper-state senator Chuck Schumer. “Woe is us if we don’t act quickly to build resilient infrastructure and embrace clean energy.”
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Biden Surveys Ida Devastation
Biden’s convoy traveled through a neighborhood where mounds of destroyed furniture, beds, and other household objects were placed outside homes on the way to the briefing. Many former Republican President Donald Trump supporters were also visible along the road, holding banners criticizing Biden.
Biden remarked, referring to the personal tragedies, “The losses we experienced today are deep.” My sympathies are with all those families who have been impacted by the disaster and those who have lost a loved one.”
Ida Devastation In Queens & New Jersey
While in New Jersey, assessing the aftermath of Hurricane Ida’s devastation, Biden called for federal spending to reinforce infrastructure in the region and beyond. Hurricane Ida killed at least 50 people in New Jersey and New York City. He is due to return to Queens this evening to witness the extent of the destruction personally.
Ida, the fifth-most powerful hurricane to hit landfall in the United States, killed at least 50 people across the country when it made landfall in Louisiana. More than half of the deaths occurred in New Jersey, with 27. 13 people were killed in New York City, 11 of whom were in Queens.
He is due to return to Queens this evening to personally witness the extent of the destruction in low-lying districts such as Flushing and East Elmhurst.
The White House wishes to depict Biden as the commander in chief of the federal response to these natural catastrophes. He receives regular reports from his team and maintains contact with governors and other elected officials in the impacted areas.
Storms in the Past
As president, Donald Trump casually tossed paper towels to the people of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria’s devastation in 2017, earning him criticism from detractors but doing no damage to his political standing.
Barack Obama hugged Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey following Superstorm Sandy in 2012, providing a reprieve from partisan tensions that threatened the economy. George W. Bush lost public support following his administration’s inadequate reaction to Hurricane Katrina’s 2005 devastation of New Orleans.