Following the floods in the northeastern United States, climate change has been brought to the fore.
After severe rains killed at least 47 people throughout the US northeast, the role of climate change in fatal flash floods in New York and the city’s aging infrastructure were highlighted on Friday.
After the leftovers of Hurricane Ida flooded the United States’ largest city, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio observed, “We are in a totally different planet.” “This is a new challenge for me.”
Rainfall so heavy that it transformed streets into rivers, halted subway service as water poured onto tracks, and drowned almost a dozen people in their basement flats.
“It’s no surprise that the city looks to implode whenever there’s a major storm,” said Jonathan Bowles, executive director of the research tank Center for an Urban Future.
“The city’s infrastructure hasn’t kept up with New York’s population expansion in recent decades, let alone the increasing fury of storms and rising sea levels that have resulted from climate change,” Bowles said.
While large projects like train stations, airports, and new bridges have received a lot of cash, he claims that “unsexy” infrastructure like sewer lines and water mains have received less.
New York’s infrastructure, according to Nicole Gelinas, an urban economist at the Manhattan Institute, “was not built for seven inches of rain in a few hours.”
Drains for the city’s sewer system clog, and “there isn’t enough green area to capture part of the water before it pours down the drains,” according to Gelinas.
“When there’s a severe storm, some of these avenues turn into canals.”
Ida, which decimated the southern state of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast earlier in the week before delivering a blow to the northeast, hit hardest in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
President Joe Biden, who has made climate change a priority, traveled to Louisiana on Friday, where more than 800,000 people were still without power after Hurricane Ida hit the state as a Category Four storm.
Biden was expected to use his visit to New Orleans to draw attention to the growing relationship between catastrophic weather and the global climate catastrophe.
Hurricane Ida and unmanageable wildfires in the western United States, Biden warned on Thursday, are “yet another reminder” of the issue.
In a speech at the White House, he remarked, “It’s a question of life and death, and we ought to meet it together.”
Storm Ida killed 25 people in New Jersey, according to Governor Phil Murphy. Brief News from Washington Newsday.