Hochul signs major disaster declaration amid Ida recovery efforts

Around New York State

NEW YORK — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a major disaster declaration Sunday, calling for more federal assistance, days after remnants of Hurricane Ida battered the tri-state area, the cleanup and recovery continue for New York and New Jersey.

At least $50 million in damages have been reported so far, according to Hochul, who anticipates the number to rise.

Many people’s homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed by flooding, and many vehicles were also flooded or abandoned on streets and highways as rising waters made it impossible to drive through.

Funds provided by the major disaster declaration would be set aside for temporary housing, crisis counseling, legal services, job assistance and home repairs.

New York and New Jersey leaders have toured different parts of the regions to tour the damage caused by the powerful storm. 

More than 40 people have died as a result of the storm in New York and New Jersey. Gov. Phil Murphy announced Saturday two more people in New Jersey died as a result of the storm, bringing the state’s death toll to 27.

The disaster underscored with heartbreaking clarity how vulnerable the U.S. is to the extreme weather that climate change is bringing. In its wake, officials weighed far-reaching new measures to save lives in future storms.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said the region needs to turn its attention to storm water systems unprepared to handle a future of more frequent flash flooding because of climate change.

The White House said President Joe Biden, who issued an emergency declaration for NY and NJ, will survey storm damage in New York City and Manville, New Jersey, on Tuesday.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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