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Biden says extreme weather across US this summer is a sign of worse to come

Biden flew to storm-ravaged New York and New Jersey today after the states were struck by Hurricane Ida last week.

Heavy rainfall in New York City while a flash flood watch was in effect
Heavy rainfall in New York City while a flash flood watch was in effect
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

US PRESIDENT JOE Biden flew to storm-ravaged New York and New Jersey today after the states were struck by Hurricane Ida last week.

Biden argues that extreme weather across the United States this summer is a sign of worse to come.

“For decades, scientists have warned of extreme weather,” Biden said at a meeting with emergency management officials in Hillsborough Township, New Jersey.

“We’re living through it now. Every part of the country is getting hit by extreme weather.”

Systemic upgrading of the nation’s infrastructure is an urgent part of the solution, he argued.

“You can’t just build back to what it was before, because another tornado, another 10 inches of rain is going produce the same kind of results,” Biden said.

“I think we’re at one of those inflection points where we’re going to act or we’re going to be in real, real trouble. Our kids are going to be in real trouble.”

Ida struck the US Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane, bringing major flooding and knocking out power to large parts of the heavily populated region, which is also a main hub for the oil industry.

The departing remnants of the hurricane then caught authorities in the New York region by surprise, with ferocious rainfall triggering flash flooding.

The final blast of the storm killed at least 47 people in the US Northeast as it turned streets into raging rivers, inundated basements and shut down the New York subway.

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While one part of the country buckles under hurricane fallout, California and other parts of the west are struggling to combat ever fiercer wildfires.

With his presidency straining from the aftermath of the Afghanistan pullout and surging Covid-19 infections, Biden faces a difficult coming few weeks, including a struggle to get infrastructure plans through the narrowly divided Congress.

The White House hopes that the dramatic impact from Hurricane Ida in two different parts of the country will galvanize action on the spending bills.

“It’s so imperative that we act on addressing the climate crisis and investing… through his ‘Build Back Better’ agenda, which is working its way through Congress,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

© AFP 2021

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