NY, NJ governors say aid is coming as Ida death toll rises to 46

by Reuters
Friday, 3 September 2021 15:31 GMT

(Corrects link to graphic in last paragraph)

By Maria Caspani and Julia Harte

Sept 3 (Reuters) - The governors of New York and New Jersey said on Friday they expected to receive significant funding and assistance from the federal government after flash flooding from Hurricane Ida left a trail of destruction, killing at least 46 in the Northeast.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced $10 million in state grants to help small businesses that suffered damage and flagged expected federal aid after U.S. President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for the state.

"This was a deadly and dangerous storm and we continue to face its after-effects," Murphy told a news conference in Millburn, a suburban town west of Newark that was hit hard by flooding. "Help is coming."

Murphy said there had been 25 fatalities in the state, up 2 from Thursday, and that at least 6 people remain missing. A total of 16 people have been confirmed dead in New York state.

Officials have also confirmed four deaths in Pennsylvania and the death of a state trooper in Connecticut.

In a separate briefing, New York Governor Kathy Hochul also said federal assistance was on the way after Biden approved her request to declare a federal emergency.

Like several other leaders in New Jersey and New York, Hochul stressed the need for better preparation for extreme weather events, which are increasing in frequency due to climate change.

Hochul said she would convene a task force that will submit an after-action report discussing shortcomings in New York's response to Ida and suggest improvements.

"Some people have called this a 500-year event. I don't buy it," she said. "No longer will we say, that won't happen again in our lifetime. This could literally happen next week."

Biden was scheduled to travel to Louisiana on Friday to meet with Governor John Bel Edwards and survey damage wrought by Ida, which left residents there scrambling for water, food and basic services, with more than 800,000 households still without power.

The hurricane, which made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday, may ultimately claim more lives in the Northeast, where flash flooding caught residents off guard, causing some to perish in their basements and others to drown in their cars.

For a graphic on the rainfall, see this https://tmsnrt.rs/3zFXtAB: (reporting by Maria Caspani in New York, Julia Harte in Washington and Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut)

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