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Politics Lawmakers: Ida damage shows need for infrastructure upgrades

07:50  07 september  2021
07:50  07 september  2021 Source:   msn.com

New Orleans levees pass Ida's test while some suburbs flood

  New Orleans levees pass Ida's test while some suburbs flood NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The levees, floodwalls and floodgates that protect New Orleans held up against Hurricane Ida's fury, passing their toughest test since the federal government spent billions of dollars to upgrade a system that catastrophically failed when Hurricane Katrina struck 16 years ago. But strengthening the flood protection system in New Orleans couldn't spare some neighboring communities from Ida's destructive storm surge. Many residents of LaPlace, a western suburb where work only recently began on a long-awaited levee project, had to be rescued from rising floodwaters.

Lawmakers from both parties say haunting images of surging rivers, flooded roads and tornado damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida show the need to upgrade the nation’s aging infrastructure network. At least 50 people from Virginia to Connecticut died as storm water from Ida ’s remnants cascaded into people’s homes and engulfed automobiles, overwhelming urban drainage systems unable to handle so much rain in such a short time. At least 16 deaths deaths were blamed on the storm in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shaken by haunting images of surging rivers, flooded roads and subways and other damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida , lawmakers from both parties are vowing to upgrade the nation’s aging infrastructure network. As the deadly storm moved from the Gulf Coast through the Northeast, members of Congress said the deluge offered irrefutable evidence that power lines, roads, bridges and other infrastructure are deteriorating even as storms and other extreme weather are strengthening. At least 50 people from Virginia to Connecticut died as storm water from

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shaken by haunting images of surging rivers, flooded roads and subways and other damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, lawmakers from both parties are vowing to upgrade the nation's aging infrastructure network.

United States Geological Survey workers push a boat as they look for residents on a street flooded as a result of the remnants of Hurricane Ida in Somerville, NJ., Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez) © Provided by Associated Press United States Geological Survey workers push a boat as they look for residents on a street flooded as a result of the remnants of Hurricane Ida in Somerville, NJ., Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

As the deadly storm moved from the Gulf Coast through the Northeast, members of Congress said the deluge offered irrefutable evidence that power lines, roads, bridges and other infrastructure are deteriorating even as storms and other extreme weather are strengthening. At least 50 people from Virginia to Connecticut died as storm water from Ida's remnants cascaded into people’s homes and engulfed automobiles, overwhelming urban drainage systems unable to handle so much rain in such a short time.

Police chief: Ida hit Louisiana town harder than Katrina did

  Police chief: Ida hit Louisiana town harder than Katrina did GRAND ISLE, La. (AP) — Hurricane Ida caused mass devastation on Grand Isle, a Louisiana town on a narrow barrier island that bore the full power of the Category 4 storm Sunday. About half of the properties in the town of about 1,400 were either heavily damaged or destroyed. Some of the homes were missing roofs or walls, while others had been reduced to piles of debris. The main roadway on Tuesday was nearly completely covered in sand that had been brought in by the tidal surge. All of the utility poles were either leaning or had crashed down. © Provided by Associated Press The remains of homes are seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in Grand Isle, La., Tuesday, Aug.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shaken by haunting images of surging rivers, flooded roads and subways and other damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida , lawmakers from both parties are vowing to upgrade the nation’s aging infrastructure network. As the deadly storm moved from the Gulf Coast through the Northeast, members of Congress said the deluge offered irrefutable evidence that power lines, roads, bridges and other infrastructure are deteriorating even as storms and other extreme weather are strengthening. At least 50 people from Virginia to Connecticut died as storm water from

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers from both parties say haunting images of surging rivers, flooded roads and tornado damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida show the need to upgrade the nation’s aging infrastructure network. As the deadly storm moved from the Gulf Coast through the Northeast — killing over 65 people from Louisiana to Connecticut — members of Congress said the storm offered irrefutable evidence that the nation’s power lines, roads, bridges and other infrastructure are deteriorating even as storms and other extreme weather are strengthening.

A man looks at a vehicle flooded as a result of the remnants of Hurricane Ida in a parking lot in Somerville, N.J., Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez) © Provided by Associated Press A man looks at a vehicle flooded as a result of the remnants of Hurricane Ida in a parking lot in Somerville, N.J., Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

At least 16 deaths deaths were blamed on the storm in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

“Global warming is upon us," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “When you get two record rainfalls in a week (in New York City), it’s not just coincidence. When you get all the changes that we have seen in weather, that’s not a coincidence. ... It’s going to get worse and worse and worse, unless we do something about it."

President Joe Biden talks with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and as Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., left, listens as Biden arrives at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Kenner, La., Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, to tour damage caused by Hurricane Ida. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) © Provided by Associated Press President Joe Biden talks with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and as Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., left, listens as Biden arrives at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Kenner, La., Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, to tour damage caused by Hurricane Ida. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Schumer and other lawmakers said the catastrophe is the latest example of why the nation needs the nearly trillion-dollar infrastructure bill passed by the Senate last month. He and other Democrats also are calling for passage of President Joe Biden's $3.5 trillion, partisan rebuilding plan aimed at helping families and combating climate change.

Ida: Narrow escapes, deadly delays and a husband's sacrifice

  Ida: Narrow escapes, deadly delays and a husband's sacrifice NEW YORK (AP) — Tales of selflessness and heroism — and of deadly delays and heartbreaking missed opportunities — are emerging after the remnants of Hurricane Ida pummeled the Northeast with record-breaking rain that flooded roads and houses, killing dozens. Earlier, Ida laid waste to parts of Louisiana and Mississippi after blowing ashore as one of the strongest hurricanes to hit the U.S. Here are some of the stories of the victims — and of those who narrowly escaped: © Provided by Associated Press A local street remains flooded in Somerville, N.J. Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. A stunned U.S.

At least 16 deaths deaths were blamed on the storm in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. LAWMAKERS : IDA DAMAGE SHOWS NEED FOR INFRASTRUCTURE UPGRADES . WASHINGTON (AP) — Shaken by haunting images of surging rivers, flooded roads and subways and other damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida , lawmakers from both parties are vowing to upgrade the nation's aging infrastructure network. © Provided by The Canadian Press As the deadly storm moved from the Gulf Coast through the Northeast, members of Congress said the delu

Shaken by haunting images of surging rivers, flooded roads and subways and other damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida , lawmakers from both parties are vowing to upgrade the nation's aging infrastructure network. Schumer and other lawmakers said the catastrophe is the latest example of why the nation needs the nearly trillion-dollar infrastructure bill passed by the Senate last month. He and other Democrats also are calling for passage of President Joe Biden’s .5 trillion, partisan rebuilding plan aimed at helping families and combating climate change.

“It’s so imperative to pass the two bills," Schumer said.

Democrats hope to pass both bills by the end of this month, but action on the bipartisan bill may be difficult until the larger package is ready. Progressives have said they won’t support a bipartisan bill without strong companion legislation to advance their priorities.

Biden made a pitch Friday for the bipartisan bill, saying it “is going to change things on our streets across the country." He cited the bill's “historic investment" in roads, rail and bridges, as well as clean energy, clean water and universal broadband.

“It’s about resilience," Biden said. “Make our roads and highways safer. Make us more resilient to the kinds of devastating impacts from extreme weather we’re seeing in so many parts of the country."

The plan includes $110 billion to build and repair roads and bridges and $66 billion to upgrade railroads. It also includes about $60 billion to upgrade the electric grid and build thousands of miles of transmission lines to expand use of renewable energy and nearly $47 billion to adapt and rebuild roads, ports and bridges to help withstand damage from stronger storms as well as wildfires and drought.

Biden tells storm-ravaged Louisiana: 'I know you're hurting'

  Biden tells storm-ravaged Louisiana: 'I know you're hurting' LAPLACE, La. (AP) — Giant trees knocked sideways. Homes boarded up with plywood. Off-kilter street signs. Less than a week after Hurricane Ida battered the Gulf Coast, President Joe Biden walked the streets of a hardhit Louisiana neighborhood and told local residents, “I know you're hurting, I know you're hurting.” Biden pledged robust federal assistance to get people back on their feet and said the government already had distributed $100 million directly to individuals in the state in $500 checks to give them a first slice of critical help. Many people, he said, don't know what help is available because they can't get cellphone service.

The damage inflicted by Ida has magnified those challenges. The struggle to find enough skilled workers and materials will likely drive up costs, complicate planning and delay reconstruction for months. “My expectation,” said Ali Wolf, chief economist at the real estate research firm Zonda, “is that it only gets worse from here.” Consider that Lake Charles, Louisiana, 200 miles west of New Orleans, still hasn’t recovered from the damage left when Hurricane Laura tore through the area a year ago.

Lawmakers from both parties say haunting images of surging rivers, flooded roads and tornado damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida show the need to upgrade the nation’s aging infrastructure network. Schumer and other lawmakers said the catastrophe is the latest example of why the nation needs the nearly trillion-dollar infrastructure bill passed by the Senate last month. He and other Democrats also are calling for passage of President Joe Biden s .5 trillion, partisan rebuilding plan aimed at helping families and combating climate change.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, residence pick up food and ice at a distribution center Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in New Orleans, La. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) © Provided by Associated Press In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, residence pick up food and ice at a distribution center Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in New Orleans, La. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

“If we're going to make our country more resilient to natural disasters, whatever they are, we have to start preparing now," said Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.

Homes damaged from the remnants of Hurricane Ida on Josephine Lane in Mullica Hill, N.J. on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. (Monica Herndon/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Homes damaged from the remnants of Hurricane Ida on Josephine Lane in Mullica Hill, N.J. on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. (Monica Herndon/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

Cassidy, a lead negotiator on the bipartisan bill, has touted the infrastructure legislation as a boon to hurricane-prone states such as his. “I’m sure hoping that Republicans look around my state, see this damage and say, ‘If there’s money for resiliency, money to harden the grid, money to help sewer and water, then maybe this is something we should be for,'" he told CNN.

Ultimately, repair and replacement of roads, bridges and other infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Ida and other natural disasters are likely to be funded by Congress as emergency relief money. But the bipartisan bill will be valuable in providing major investments in “future-proofing” infrastructure against climate change and extreme weather such as Ida, according to Jeff Davis, a senior fellow at the Eno Center for Transportation, a Washington think tank.

Hurricane Ida evacuees urged to return to New Orleans

  Hurricane Ida evacuees urged to return to New Orleans NEW ORLEANS (AP) — With power due back for almost all of New Orleans by next week, Mayor LaToya Cantrell strongly encouraged residents who evacuated because of Hurricane Ida to begin returning home. But outside the city, the prospects of recovery appeared bleaker, with no timeline on power restoration and homes and businesses in tatters. Six days after Hurricane Ida made landfall, hard-hit parts of Louisiana were still struggling to restore any sense of normalcy. Even around New Orleans, a continued lack of power for most residents made a sultry stretch of summer hard to bear and added to woes in the aftermath of Ida.

Residents of Peck Ave in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York use buckets to remove water from their basement apartment, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in New York. The remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped historic rain over New York City, with several deaths linked to flooding in the region as basement apartments suddenly filled with water and freeways and boulevards turned into rivers, submerging cars.(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) © Provided by Associated Press Residents of Peck Ave in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York use buckets to remove water from their basement apartment, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in New York. The remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped historic rain over New York City, with several deaths linked to flooding in the region as basement apartments suddenly filled with water and freeways and boulevards turned into rivers, submerging cars.(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The bill would be the first to devote money for “climate resilience,” including $17 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers to address backlogs in federal flood control projects.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would receive $492 million to map inland and coastal flooding, including “next-gen” modeling and forecasts. Another $492 million would go toward improving the resilience of coastal communities to flooding by restoring natural ecosystems.

The legislation also provides $3.5 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help communities reduce the risk of flood damage and $8.7 billion for the Transportation Department to award grants to states to improve resiliency in ports and other coastal infrastructure.

Cindy Rojas cleans mud and floodwater from her driveway in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021, in Lafitte, La. (AP Photo/John Locher) © Provided by Associated Press Cindy Rojas cleans mud and floodwater from her driveway in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021, in Lafitte, La. (AP Photo/John Locher)

“We have to start planning for what the future might hold and do modeling that’s going to help us predict what these future risks are going to be,” FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell told “Fox News Sunday," calling the increasing frequency of severe storms that intensify more rapidly “a new normal" because of climate change. “These threats aren’t going to go away, and we need to start to reduce those impacts.”

Week after Hurricane Ida's landfall, hundreds of thousands still without power

  Week after Hurricane Ida's landfall, hundreds of thousands still without power One week after Ida made landfall in Louisiana, hundreds of thousands are still without power. For some, it may take until the end of September.One week after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana, hundreds of thousands of residents were still without power, and the state confirmed a 13th storm-related death Sunday.

The U.S. had 22 climate and weather disasters in 2020 with losses exceeding $1 billion each, with eight such disasters this year as of July 9, according to NOAA. Ida and its remnants will likely cost in the tens of billions, analysts say.

Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., said a bipartisan infrastructure bill is needed, but the bill approved by the Senate could harm oil-producing states such as Louisiana by freezing out benefits for states that encourage fossil-fuel production.

The Democratic-only bill is even worse, Graves said, calling it “a final nail in the coffin” to the offshore oil industry, which is already struggling because of the pandemic and the hurricane.

“All this does is benefit Iran," Graves said. “It benefits Russia. It benefits China.”

In an interview, Graves said he would prefer to use emergency spending to help Louisiana and other states hit by the hurricane. That way, money “is tailored to the disaster” and based on need, not ideology, he said.

But Ed Potosnak, executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, said emergency spending, and even the bipartisan infrastructure bill, is not sufficient to address the threat of climate change.

“We have not taken the bold measures we need to protect our families and our way of life and our communities that we cherish," he said.

Potosnak, whose central New Jersey neighborhood was flooded by Ida, said storms are increasing in intensity and frequency, with at least seven “100-year storms” in the past few decades.

“I hope this storm is a reminder to all our elected officials: This is what climate change looks like,'' Potosnak said. “Congress needs to act to match the challenge we face.”

56 Percent of New Orleans Gas Stations Without Gas After Hurricane Ida .
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said last week that two-thirds of the state's oil refineries had stopped producing gas in the aftermath of the hurricane. He asked residents for patience until production could reach levels from before the hurricane. "There will be stations without gas, and there will be people who will have to wait for some period of time in a line to get gas," he said. The gas shortages are in addition to widespread power and water outages workers are still trying to rectify.

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