President Joe Biden on Thursday pledged robust federal help for the Northeastern and Gulf states battered by Hurricane Ida and for Western states beset by wildfires with the catastrophes serving as deadly reminders that the “climate crisis” has arrived.
The proposal intends to ensure that the vital networks connecting cities and states and the country as a whole can withstand the flooding, whirlwinds and damage caused by increasingly dangerous weather.the president said.
“It’s a matter of life and death and we’re all in this together,” tScientists say climate change increases the frequency of extreme weather events large tropical storms, and the droughts and heatwaves.
Ida was the fifth-most powerful storm to strike the US when it hit Louisiana on Sunday with maximum winds of 150 mph . The storm’s remnants dropped devastating rainfall across parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey on Wednesday, causing significant disruption to major population
centres.The storm has killed at least 13 in the Gulf Coast region and at least 46 in the northeastern US.
More than one million homes and businesses in Mississippi remained without power after Ida toppled a major transmission tower and knocked out thousands of miles of lines and hundreds of substations.
Biden said the flooding in Louisiana was less than the region experienced 16 years ago during Hurricane Katrina, crediting federal investments in the area’s levee system.
The Energy Department said it was releasing 1.5 million barrels of oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to ensure a steady fuel supply in the Gulf region, where sunken vessels are blocking key supply lines along the Mississippi River.
The president also scolded insurers who are declining to pay for the costs of damage or hotel stays for people who had to evacuate their homes.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards suggested Biden’s Friday visit would be crucial for the president to understand the destruction by seeing the widespread damage for himself.
The White House says Biden has held several conference calls with governors and local officials to discuss preparations and needs after the storm and has received briefings from Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Deanne Criswe.
That included the deaths of 13 US service members helping evacuate more than 120,000 Americans, Afghan allies and others fleeing life under Taliban rule.