Biden speaks in Queens in wake of Ida’s damages; calls climate change ‘red alert situation’
President Joe Biden said the effects of climate change have created a “red alert situation” in the United States, while speaking late Tuesday afternoon in a flood-affected area of Queens hit hard by Ida.
He was joined by Gov. Kathy Hochul, and New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as other local officials to tour some of Ida's impacts.
The local leaders praised the president for quickly acting to declare New York City and other parts of the state a disaster area, which makes federal funds for rebuilding readily available.
President Biden says that “we are all in it together” when it comes to climate change, whether it be from the 5 million+ acres of forest ravaged by wildfires in the West or in the Northeast, where more lives were lost from Ida than in Louisiana, which took a direct hit from the storm last week.
"People are beginning to realize this is much, much bigger than anyone was willing to believe," he said.
Biden landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport and toured both Queens and Manville, New Jersey, which were hit hard by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. It was the president’s first visit to New York since his election.
The emergency declaration makes $5 million immediately available to the areas directly impacted, which includes the Bronx and Brooklyn. Long Island was not included in the declaration.
The over 7 inches of rainfall that hit the New York City area shattered records. At least 13 New Yorkers died, including one in Brooklyn. Gov. Hochul said that she is preparing as if another storm is coming to the region, since two historic rainfalls have come within just one week from Henri and Ida.