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Ocasio-Cortez: Flooding deaths highlight how ‘climate crisis is an inequality crisis’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) speaks to a reporter outside the House Chamber during the first vote of the week on Monday, July 19, 2021.
Greg Nash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Thursday said deaths in New York caused by flooding amid the remnants of tropical storm Ida highlight how the “climate crisis creates an inequality crisis.”

At least 14 people have died in New York and New Jersey as Ida’s remnants billowed through the northeast.

Nine people died in New York City — four women, three men and a 2-year-old boy. Eight of those deaths took place in residential homes in basements.

Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter that the basement dwellings, which are growing due to unaffordable housing, do not meet safety standards for flash floods. 

“How the climate crisis is an inequality crisis: Many of these deaths occurred in basement dwellings, many of which are illegal and growing in [number] due to the unaffordable housing crisis, but do not meet safety standards required to keep people safe in incidents like flash floods,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“As a result, among the people MOST at risk during flash floods here are those living in off-the-books basement dwellings that don’t meet the safety codes necessary to save lives,” she continued. “These are working class, immigrant, and low-income people & families.”

The northeast was hit with historic rainfall Wednesday night that resulted in flash flooding which halted the New York City subway system and interrupted flights at Newark Liberty airport.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) issued states of emergency for their respective states amid the storm.

Four fatalities were reported in Elizabeth, N.J., three of which were from the same family. Another person was pulled from a vehicle that got caught in floodwaters near the Passaic River.

Authorities in Montgomery County, Pa., have also said they are investigating three deaths believed to be related to Ida. According to NBC Philadelphia, two people are believed to have a drowned and another killed after a tree fell on her house.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Kathy Hochul
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