Hochul, Biden visit storm-damaged neighborhood in Queens

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks as New York Governor Kathy Hochul looks on, during the visit at a neighbourhood impacted by flood damage from the remnants of Hurricane Ida in the Queens borough of New York City, U.S., Sept. 7, 2021.
REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday joined President Joe Biden in visiting a storm-damaged neighborhood in East Elmhurst, Queens.

The area, along 88th Street, was among the worst hit in the city last week by the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida.

“Ladies and gentlemen, that is the definition of a climate crisis,” Hochul told a press conference. “We’re experiencing a climate crisis as we speak, but. more than talking about that, it’s a humanitarian crisis.

“And you only have to walk down this street, as I have many times with our elected officials who care so deeply about the people who live here and throughout Queens and all the other effected communities, to know that people that we represent, who put their faith in us, are in pain right now,” the governor added. “They’re hurting. They look into our eyes and they ask us to help and we will not abandon them.

“Every one of us here, our elected leaders down from our president, to our senators, our congress members, our assemblymembers, our mayors, everyone, including our council members, we are here to help,” she continued.

“I’m so proud to say that we’ve never seen a response like we’ve seen from President Biden and his administration and our leadership in the Senate and the House of Representatives,” Hochul said. “They acted so quickly and, as a result, we have deployed teams on the ground to get immediate assistance to people. But this is a short-term solution, getting them housing, getting them shelter, getting them rental assistance, giving them money to help clean up, giving them food on the table – and that’s what President Biden has enabled us to do to help support those efforts.”

Over the weekend, Hochul announced that she was allocating $378 million in federal disaster funding to protect New Yorkers against the ramifications of climate change.

On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order eliminating city permit fees for residents trying to repair their homes after last week’s major flooding.

During visits to Manville, N.J., and Queens on Tuesday, Biden said Hurricane Ida’s destruction in New Jersey and New York was the result of climate change, stating that more action is necessary to avert deteriorating extreme weather patterns.

“Climate change is here,” he said. “We’re living through it now. We’re at one of those inflection points where we act, or we’re going to be in real, real trouble.”

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