Story at a glance
- Ida made landfall in Louisiana Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane.
- The storm has killed dozens, mostly in the Northeast.
- “The past few days of Hurricane Ida and the wildfires in the west, and the unprecedented flash floods in New York and New Jersey, is yet another reminder that these extreme storms and the climate crisis are here,” Biden said.
President Biden on Thursday declared the “climate crisis” is here as Hurricane Ida devastated Northeastern and Gulf states this week and record wildfires continue to tear through the West.
Ida made landfall in Louisiana Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane, slamming the region with sustained winds of 150 miles per hour. Ida tied the Last Island Hurricane in 1856 and Hurricane Laura in 2020 as the strongest to make landfall in the state, according to The Washington Post.
The hurricane left millions in Louisiana and Mississippi without power, and Biden noted the storm was so powerful it caused the Mississippi river to temporarily change directions.
But the remnants of Ida went on to unleash dangerous flash floods as it swept through the East Coast days later. The unprecedented flooding left at least 43 people dead across New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
“The past few days of Hurricane Ida and the wildfires in the west and the unprecedented flash floods in New York and New Jersey is yet another reminder that these extreme storms and the climate crisis are here,” Biden said during a news conference.
“We need to be much better prepared. We need to act,” he said.
Biden said he will press Congress to pass his nearly $1 trillion infrastructure bill to provide “historic investments” to modernize roads, bridges, the electric grid and sewer and draining systems.
“We’re reminded that this isn’t about politics. Hurricane Ida didn’t care if you were a Democrat or a Republican, rural or urban. It’s destruction is everywhere. It’s a matter of life and death and we’re all in this together.”
Meanwhile, the president this week approved an emergency declaration for California as crews work around the clock to tame the Caldor Fire.
Tens of thousands of people in the Lake Tahoe area have been forced to evacuate as the fire has closed in on the scenic mountain getaway.
The fire has burned more than 216,000 acres and is 49 percent contained.
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