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Disaster declarations: Biden tours New York and New Jersey after Ida

Sep 07, 2021


President Joe Biden toured New York City and New Jersey Tuesday to see the damage left behind by Ida. His tour took him to Queens and Manville, New Jersey.

The video above shows part of President Biden’s Manville tour.

Manville is located along New Jersey’s Raritan River. This isn’t the first time the town has been hard-hit by a major storm. Catastrophic flooding hit Manville in 1998 as the remnants of Tropical Storm Floyd swept over New Jersey. It also sustained serious flooding during the aftermath of Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

At least 50 people in six northeastern states died when the remnants of Ida hit the area last week. 27 of those deaths happened in New Jersey and 13 in New York City. 11 of those 13 deaths in New York happed in Queens.

Biden has approved major disaster declarations for both states, making federal aid available for people in six New Jersey counties and five New York counties affected by the devastating floods. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he would speak with Biden on Tuesday about adding other New Jersey counties to the disaster declaration.

“It’s the emergency declaration, which we already had, that that was important for equipment. It was important for reimbursing state, county and local authorities for money that they spent on on this awful tragedy,” Gov. Murphy said while touring damage in Hunterdon County on Labor Day. “The major disaster declaration means individuals are now eligible for money in those counties.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also spent part of Labor Day touring damage and talking financial relief. “This disaster declaration, that’s exactly what we need. But now comes a part of getting everyone the money they deserve,” Mayor de Blasio said. “The city is going to send teams out to all affected areas, door-to-door to make sure people sign up to cut through the red tape. People need money and they need it quick.”

Biden’s tour follows his visit late last week to parts of Louisiana that were affected by Ida. At least 13 people died in Louisiana, and many were still without power throughout the holiday weekend.

Biden pushed his infrastructure proposal while in Louisiana. “Hurricane Ida is another reminder that we need to be prepared for the next hurricane and superstorms that are going to come, and they’re going to come more frequently and more ferociously,” Biden said.

Joe Biden, U.S. President: “It’s incredible. It’s incredible. What I’m surprised by is that in what otherwise you would not assume could generate a water height that went up in some cases almost to the windows of these homes over literally over your head, according to the folks here, that is pretty amazing. I’ve seen that before, but that’s when levees have broken or things have changed but, and they were just telling me about this home.”

Meagan Dommar, Lost home in Ida flooding: “Our plan was to come back once the water had gone down. Our daughter’s nursery is on the second floor…

Biden: “And it’s over there in the other corner.”

Meagan Dommar, Lost home in Ida flooding: “Yeah, half of her nursery, the wall is back there and the other half of her nursery is down the street. And our plan was to go in and save her belongings, but unfortunately, probably around 2:30/3:00 Thursday, the house was on fire.”

Biden: “Thank God you didn’t come back.”

Meagan Dommar, Lost home in Ida flooding: “Yeah, thank God we were not near the house. Nobody in the area was able to come back yet because it was still, the waters were so high. So we’re extremely grateful that we were able to, you know, all of us in the community, we were all able to not be here when this happened.”