tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN September 2, 2021 7:00am-8:00am PDT
very good thursday morning to you. i'm jim sciutto. the breaking news this hour, we will hear from the governor of new jersey, the mayor of new york as well after a catastrophic storm hammered, flooded and inundated parts of the northeast overnight. the scenes just amazing. we're also waiting to hear from president biden, he's expected to address the devastation from hurricane ida. that storm completely wiping out some communities on the coast in louisiana. at least five people have died there. we'll have much more from louisiana in just a moment. look at those scenes but we do want to start with the monument all start overnight in the northeast. right now firefighters in passaic, new jersey, are trying to locate bodies that may have been swept away into the river.
in new york, the city issued the first ever, first ever flash flood emergency. those are subway tunnels you're looking at there last night. they saw rainfall in just five hours, enough to fill 50,000 olympic size swimming pools, record rainfall in central park and happening right now in bridgeport, pennsylvania, water rescues underway. we've seen live on our air in the last hour residents being pulled from their homes in those inflatable rescue boats there. still people in need and still people's whose lives are in danger. let's begin with the storm chaser. he's ray likener. you were following this during the worst of it overnight. tell us what you saw then and what you're seeing this morning. are you there? >> hello. >> bad connection there. we're going to come back to you, ray, when you have a better
connection so we could hear what you've seen. i do want to go to evan mcmorris santoro in queens, new york, which saw some of the most devastating effects of the storm overnight and sadly where a lot of the deaths were located. what is the status of the recovery process right now, evan? >> reporter: well, jim, as you know, last night the numbers that we have so far are nine dead, a number that could change, could rise. the majority here in queens where i am, two of the deaths happening literally in the house right behind me. floodwaters coming in and just collapsing a basement wall killing two inside of that house. just a tragic scene here. we do know that rescue efforts are underway. a lot of them last night. getting people out of subway trains and houses and people are going around to ask their neighbors, do you know where everybody is, has everybody been accounted for. the police are doing that. that is all happening.
and in this neighborhood, this is a real focus because it is flooded before here and the people here are very nervous about what happened last night and concerned about the future so we're experted to hear from the governor of new york and the mayor of new york and they're going to talk to some folks about the plans for the future of the recovery. right now, everything is really still triage mode. you talk about how the infrastructure, things like transit are still in real danger and there are people without power here still and people in in neighborhood, just a huge mess and a tragedy after two neighbors passed away in this storm. jim. >> no question. and what do they do to prepare for the next one. thank you very much. well the remnant, we call them remnants but they are powerful, the recommend nantzs of ida just drenching the northeast overnight. newark, new jersey, shattered the record for the most rainfall in a single day. that is become the norm it seems almost every day. new records. cnn's polo sandoval live in new
jersey throughout the morning. we still saw rescues underway in flooded homes in the last hour. i know you're on one of the highways there that may be dry but, boy, things aren't moving. one of the repercussions of all of this. >> reporter: that is a thing, too, jim, as the sun comes out and the waters begin to recede and the road begins to dry out and leaving behind the devastation. some rescues that we're seeing in new jersey and roadways that are still, as you see here, you see dozens of cars, there are some here and down the road here. we're standing on mccarter highway, this is connecting downtown newark and these are all vehicles that stalled out overnight. tow trucks had to move them over to open this highway when we expect to happen pretty soon. and as this issue here slowly begins to resolve, itself as these drivers call their own tow trucks to have vehicles moved out, a big issue having wider effects is united airlines. according to pete muntean
reporting that the airline is suspending a bulk at the international hub and that is effecting perhaps hundreds of flights, apology for the highway noise here. so that does speak to the impact beyond new jersey and northeast with this storm that has already been felt for multiple days, three or four days after landfall now could impact people traveling in or out of the region here, jim. >> you shut down an airport, that has big effects. thank you very much. christine romans has been in clifton, new jersey, where overnight, goodness, whole community under water. and i know you experienced that yourself. tell us what damage the flooding left in its wake. >> reporter: a lot of just completely swamped basements, cars that are total, strewn along the streets. they were either left or washed away by the floodwaters. the waters have receded. when i'm standing now it would
have been waist high in water and behind me where there is this creek it would have been over my head. and one of the abandoned drivers said he was knocked down and tumbled through the water before he could find his footing. but the street is dry now. and there is a real feeling of camaraderie in the neighborhood here in clifton, new jersey, they are checking on neighbors and helping haul stuff out of garages we helped move one of the cars out of the way that was dead here. everyone is just trying to kind of survey the damage and get moving forward. it was supposed to be the first day of school here in clifton, you've seen this kids out riding their bikes, surveying the damage. they're going to try for that tomorrow. the storm ida, even though it was the tail end of this massive monster hurricane, it really left a record mark on this neighborhood and this region, jim. >> folks were worried about covid disrupting the start of
the school year and here it is record flooding. thank you very much. as we've been saying nationally, the storm produced a record-breaking amount of rain. never before seen, particularly in parts of northeast. all allison chinchar is in the cnn weather center. describe the records of this storm. we use the word historic all of the time but the records get broken it seems every other day. where was this the worst and where was this the worst ever seen? >> yeah, i mean you talked about it, the scope of this storm was incredible. this one particular storm has impacted 22 states, jim. 22 states. now unfortunately, yes, we have two different spots that produce tremendous amount of rain. obviously right there immediately along the gulf coast, where ida initially made landfall and then the second wave, the area from the mid-atlantic to the northeast seeing catastrophic flooding. now the bulk of the rain that
caused scenes like on the other half of your screen, these are the areas where we saw widespread six to ten inches of rain. again, when you look at the radar here, again you could see we have most of the storm moving out of the way. so a lot of the rain is starting to end. you're getting blue skies. which is good for the folks that need to clear out their areas. but the problem with the rain is it doesn't go away in the blink of an eye. it could be hours if not days before we finally see a lot of this rain really recede in some of the areas especially along the rivers, creeks and even the streams that are out there. when you talk about the records that are out there, newark having their wettest day on record. and new york city setting the wettest hour on record. again just to go to show you how much rain has really fallen in such a short period of time for so many of these communities. again, new york also having their top five wettest days. very much like we saw with newark. the key thing to know is yes
these are 24 hour reports but a lot of communities got the rain in six, seven, eight hours at most. so it is a lot of rain in a very short period of time. we talked about the wettest hour on record. three inches from 8:51 to 9:51 p.m. last night in new york. that is why the roadways were flooded and the subways looked like they did. on average, when we talk about climate change, earth warms and the warmer the atmosphere is, jim, the more water it could hold. so when you have a tropical system like this that come in, they're able to dump a tremendous amount of rain in a short period of time. it is not so hurricanes are new but because of climate change the storms will produce i lot more rain and become more extreme tropical cyclones than they would have been in the past. >> and there is a lag time and the rain my stop but the rivers continue to rise.
thank you so much. we're also following another breaking story this morning. this overnight out of the supreme court. the conservative majority denied a request to block texas's new abortion law. one signed on to what was a scathing dissent. today the result of this, abortion illegal in the second most populous state in the country. plus, nearly a million customers are still without power in louisiana. after hurricane ida. details on president biden's plans to tour the devastation there. and later, i'm going to be joined live by a retired green beret who led a private mission to evacuate hundreds of afghans who worked with u.s. troops and therefore their lives were in danger. he's going to tell us how he got them to safety and what happens to the folks left behind.
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live shortly and we'll bring you those comments. another live picture in the last hour were live rescues still underway in northeastern pennsylvania. bridgeport, pennsylvania, where the streets have become rivers. and we've been watching first responders in an inflatable, in a zodiac going door to door and finding people in need and taking them to safety. keith floits is the manager for bridgeport. thank you so much. i know you have a lot on your hands here. could you tell us as we look at the pictures from bridgeport, how many people do you believe are still in need of rescue there. >> first off, good morning and thank you for having me. yes, we can tell you that at this point we have rescued threw the efforts of multi-jurisdictional emergency management and first responders teams we've rescued at least 50 residents since this all began
overnight last night. in terms of a sense of how many more are out there, we don't know if i have a -- a firm number ascertained at this point but we do have a large building that still needs to be evacuated. they've been instructed to shelter in place. and we still have a few more blocks of the residential area that you're videos have captured. >> well credit to the first responders. they're knocking on every day and shouting and looking for people in need and finding them. i hate to ask you this question because of course we only want the good news from this but have they found any people that didn't make it. do you have any sense of lives lost there? >> at this junction, all we have are a few scrapes and bruises. some very minor injuries. as you've noted, they have not
been through every house at this point. so i don't have a concrete number on any -- >> keith truman, hold there just for a moment because we're getting an update live from the governor of new jersey phil murphy, he's speaking from mullica hills, new jersey. let's have a listen. >> -- on my team, assemblyman spearman. i think that is it with who is with us up here. you know, an extra sadly tragic historic 24 hours in new jersey. there is no other way to put it. needless to say, look, on either side of us right now in the impact of this -- these tornados that touched down, in this county and here obviously on mullica hill and winona,
debtford, woodbury township. thank good, unless someone knows otherwise, casualties are extremely limited which is for the grace of god which is extraordinary. look at the house behind us if you want to get a sense of how it could have been. and as steve sweeney has said, if you look at other side of the path of this, you have houses to the left and right which are largely in tact if not completely in tact and then you have houses in the path that are destroyed. up north, the story was less tornados but overwhelming flooding. and largely the big roads are open, although 78 and 280 are still works in progress. and there are a lot of off-ramps and other road challenges that we still have before us. but it was largely a storm with tornados being the big story in
the south and flooding the big story in the central and northern part of the state. and this is going to take us some time to dig out of. no question about it. but we'll stay here and be by the side of the residents and the small businesses impacted so severely. and if you're a small business, you're barely getting back on your feet from a pandemic and you get whacked about this. and you ask yourself rightfully, life is not so fair sometimes. but i promise that we will stay with everybody and it wone by a short road but we will stay with them on the road to recovery. i just got off, which is why i'm a few minutes late with the fema administrator chriswell. i said to her and she's been terrific and her team is terrific, that we're send in a major disaster declaration request today. i will speak shortly with the
president and reiterate that and thank him for his support and help. and that will be a game-changer if that is accorded in terms of our ability to get individuals, families, businesses, and our infrastructure and the clean-up back to where it should be. and transit is a work in progress, both on the rail and the bus side. depending on where you are in the state. versus the atlantic city is clear but that is not the case for most of the line in the central and northern part of the state. as i mentioned, the highways getting a a work in progress. the parkaway and turnpike are wide open north to south and that's good. we have a couple of challenges still on the interstates and as i mentioned some local off-ramp type issues that will take some time to fix. we have had fatalities. i won't get into the details or the numbers. we did not have them here thank
god but we have had them in the central and northern part of the state so keep those folks in your prayers and as we get more on that we'll let you know. but sadly more than a few folks have passed as a result of this. i think that is it. as a general matter. other than i say we'll stay at this as long as it takes. i will like be doing some more stops later this afternoon. probably in central and northern part of the state and that will be largely getting a handle on the flooding impact there. again, we keep all of the victims, both individuals, families, small businesses, on main street in our prayers and again we'll not relent, we will stand by the sides of everybody who has been impacted by this in new jersey until we get back on our feet. i guess i'll close with a pretty obvious statement. but the world is changing, right. these storms are coming in more
frequently. steve and i were on the the phone last night on this topic. they're coming in more frequently and more intense and as it relates to our infrastructure, our resiliency and our mindset, the playbook that we use, we have got to leap forward and get out of ahead of this. a lot of infrastructure money will be put into resilient infrastructure because that is what you need when you're the most densely populated state in the nation with our extraordinary location, which is second to none. i think any amount of investment we could make in the years ahead in resilient infrastructure will be investment that will help us, please god, if we have to deal with things like that going forward in the years ahead. anybody want to add anything? guys? >> just from the federal side, thank you, governor, for being here, steve and the legislative team for new jersey and the
commissioners and the township. i'm looking across the street and that could be any of our closets. the shoes are there and behind me a swingset that children could have been playing on. the fact that people were not killed or seriously injured is just amazing. but when we look at this and we were in washington last night, monitoring and in session until 3:00 this morning. we jumped on the the train and litdly i got stopped in delaware because we couldn't get into philadelphia or above as you know. this is a problem that is going on. but we never had tornados of this nature when we grew up. occasionally a small one. what we see behind here is change. and you mentioned the infrastructure that is exactly what we're working on. luckily we'll get that done and bring those much-needed resources to what we have here today. speaking with fema, we reloaded them because this storm was
supposed to make a right hand turn and go out to sea by north and north carolina and south carolina. as we go into labor day weekend, i want to say thank you to all of those that labored that helped the people behind us. whether you're the utility for the electricity or your neighbor helping to pull out, that is what makes new jersey a great state. we help each other in times of need and we're going to need more help. so based on that, we just want to thank all of you who helped and certainly if you're having trouble, obviously give our office a call, the legislators and insurance issues, certainly we want to be there throughout. >> amen. >> with that -- >> steve, come on down. >> i want so start with thanking our first responders. they come out and they're the front line of defense and they do a hell of a job for us. and they put their own safety at risk. the county's oem is outstanding,
everybody working together to make things work. and talking to bob last night and lou and the governor because i asked him for some help. and help came last night. because we have a lot of trees down. you're seeing property damage here but as you travel through this county, it looks like a bomb hit in some places. and getting the trees cleaned up is critically important. so governor, i want to say thank you for stepping up once again to help the cities of this county and this state. >> my honor. >> anybody who is a global warming denier, take a look at what is going on. as donald said, you might have had an occasional storm and it wasn't anything. these things are getting stronger, and there is more damage. we have to do something. >> you bet. >> thank you. >> for families that are waiting for -- families impacted on state funds, they could look at or is that red cross?
how do they get help? >> we'll probably, not probably but put up information on where people should go, websites or calls or phone numbers rather to go to. and it will be both a combination of state, federal, and third parties like the red cross and it will obviously depend on in part whether you have a structure like this versus whether it is water damage, et cetera. i want to reiterate before we take a couple of questions the points that these guys just made. in particular first responders. i was in a room this morning at the statewide traffic management system with the colonel and dan and nobody in that room, i slept a couple of hours and i suspect you didn't sleep very much so the atlantic city electric team to the dot folks to the county and the state police, the local teams, oem's i cannot thank you
enough. >> before you take questions. i'm bob, the director of the board of commissioners in gloucester county. before the governor takes some questions, we have all of cameras here. it is the easiest way to get out to people in the county. anyone affected by the storm in gloucester county, the red cross is set up at the gloucester county institute of technology and they're there to help you. >> everyone get that. because as bob said, we have a lot of cameras on us. let's take advantage of it. brian. >> and the legislature and the speaker have a fairly ambitious course against climate change. does this and you you've said several times they're becoming more intense and the storms, more frequent, does this suggest that we need to accelerate the efforts that have already been underway. >> unequivocally, yes. i don't know why donald went, but the federal infrastructure
bill being debated, god willing voted on sooner than later, i should say bills, you have two different buckets there, any amount of that will be of huge help toward our efforts. i just want to make sure this isn't -- i can't see this. yeah, i believe this may be the president so i'm just going to take this and make sure. >> tell him i said hello. i think i missed that. the answer is unequivocally, yes. i assume you all would agree. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> state and federal. we'll put state resources into this as we have done and we'll continue to do. but the game-changer here is the feds and the work that donald is doing with federal dollars. please. >> governor, we talked to some victims here in the neighborhood and they said the alerts that they got from the national weather service came quick enough on their phones to get to -- to save their lives. alerts also went out to flood emergencies throughout the area
yet a lot of people were still trapped in cars. some died in their cars. >> sadly. >> don't even know how many water rescues there were. is there a way to improve, to get people off these roads when these flash flood emergencies are issued before the inevitable happens. >> it is a great question. we had this conversation, the colonel and i and others this morning. thank god at letters worked in this case. so as bad as the damage was behind, the family went to the basement and they're alive as a result of it. you told me last night, you went to the basement. people did the right thing. i don't know, this is a personal opinion. i'm not sure and we're going to look at this. i'm not sure it is a difference of the alerts, because the alerts did go out. i got them myself on my phone. but i think people hear flooding an they hear tornado and i think they put them into a different category. and sadly we can't do that. and people pay with their lives as a result of that yesterday.
but we're looking going to look at the entire system. there were too many cars on theed road and too many cars. thank god most of them were ab aband onned. >> i have a question for the mayor. this is something that you do not see here very often. can you talk a little bit about what happened when the first responders -- >> sure. this is an unprecedented event for us locally and even regionally. and what i will say is how impressed i was as i arrived at our office of operation for emergency management and our fire hall last night, maybe at 6:45 and at that point it was just me and my oem director and i watched the process coordinated by the county and i want to give the county their do with damage and that is the way it is supposed to work.
everything is corrordinated through the country. i watched the 30, 40, 50, 60 minutes where everything was coordinated and nothing was dispatched. we have people filling the room and ready to work and that is the other part of this. the support from our neighboring communities and from individuals just showing up in the middle of a torrential rain storm after the tornado had left but not doing anything based on our local oem that we have to hear from the county first. they did a stellar job and thank god only by the grace of god was there no loss of life or serious injury to be dealt with during that critical first hour or 90 minutes, but by the time we got through that, the coordination was like clock work and something to be hold and i was just watching it all happen. incredible. >> where do you go from here. >> where we go from here, it is a focus on our residents and their health and well being
first of all. and therefore if there is a shelter in need or any support, that is coming to us in spades, where we're just getting so much offers for that. that will be our focus and we have that coordinated locally from a township perspective and then it becomes about these homes and the damage to them and the digging out, cleaning up and rebuilding. and, look, that is where americans, new jerseyans, quintessential shally come together and we saw it last night and we're seeing it right now. everybody supports one another, the help is there. we'll clean up and dig out and rebuild. i want to make one final comment, the governor and again i cannot thank enough the fact that the levels of support from all levels of government. i got my congressman, from a different district, by the way, congressman who crosses here and i have my district, legislative district representatives here, my good friends senate president
sweeney and bob and the governor comes down. so that support is incredible. but at the end of the day, what the governor said, it is residential and business impact, locally we were lucky enough where not many of the businesses were physically impacted. however, and this is a last comment i want to make and put a light on it, our farming community effected. and that is they are the foundational pillar of where we are and they have been for generations. locally the grasso family farm was devastated. it is basically gone. and speaking with him at 11:30 last night, he is devastated. but as he said, will rebuild. he had his farming community around him pledging their support to help him get through the rest of the season. and somehow salvage whatever that might be and rebuild. and just north of us, in man chewa, the largest dairy farm i believe in the state, 250 plus
cows and we're told they've lost as many as a hundred of those cows. it is devastating to that business. and to that culture and we want everybody to just keep them in your thoughts and prayers now. >> well said. >> thank you. >> and lou, you make a very important point. it is farms here and then if you go into the central part of the state, northern part of the state, it is main street businesses. i saw a video of mill burn in essex county, last night, we looked at that, a raging river down -- right down the middle of town. and those small businesses are crushed in the farms are crushed and there are homes all over the state. maybe take one more. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> yep. >> they were asking for storm mitigation protection measures. he left without committing any. what do you have to say about
that. >> listen, he's doing a lot in fairness to him, the dep, put out a big report from the army corp of engineers which is a preliminary report, but a big one as it relates to resiliency up against storms. that is more focused on the shore than it is on the the -- the shore largely came through last night okay. most of what we're dealing with is inland. but they'll be there, i promise. but it is the game-changer that will be continuing to do what we're doing and god willing to do more and then with donald's help and other colleagues, adding on top of that the federal money to really be the game-changer in terms of rebuilding the infrastructure we need. maybe one last one, sir. >> can you name the -- [ inaudible question ]. >> do you mind coming in, bob. >> the township where we're at right now, mullica hill,
woodbury heights and winona was hit hard. some other towns weren't hit as hard but just got a piece of it. but man chewa and winona and harris township were the hardest hit and woodbury and deaf ert. and i just want to let you know, and to the people that live here, and the residents that are here, i know every one of these gentlemen very well, this is not just a photo on for a bunch of politicians to stand here. these people will be here for the residents of the community and the rest of the gloucester county and where we're not walking away from anybody. we'll be here through the process. right, governor. >> you bet, you bob. >> you need anything, you call me or your local legislature or congressman that will help out. and all of the way up to the governor. so we're here for the duration. we're not going anywhere.
>> the end of the press conference there as we go to a -- to the governor of new york kathy hochul updating there. let's have a listen. >> good morning. i want to thank the individuals who have joined us here this morning. senator schumer, mayor bill de blasio, congressman meeks, our borough president denver richards and borough president adams. we're here today because of a devastating storm that shock people of this city and the morning after we're still uncovering the true depth of the loss. the human loss which is hard to imagine that people simply in their cars, in their homes, in their basements, succumbed to the ravages of a brutal storm and their families must just be in such pain this morning. so to all of them, we offer our love, our condolences and our
wishes for their healing. and we'll be there to support them. and this is all precipitated by last night's record-shattering rainfall. and what is so fascinating is that the records that were broken in central park, for example, 3.15 inches in one hour, it broke a record literally set one week earlier. that says to me that there are more -- no more cataclysmic unforeseeable events. we need to see these in advance and be prepared. and we learned a lot of lessons from sandy. we built back resilient. our coastline are in much better shape than they have been. but what vi-- vulnerability in e streets. and the flash floods were unknown. this is the first time we've had a flash flood event on this proportion in the city of new york and in the outlying areas.
we have not experienced this before but we should expect it next time and that means we have to continue investments and infrastructure, working in partnership with our federal government and support from senator schumer and president biden working so hard to get the infrastructure dollars back to our states so we could build this up, working in partnership with the mayor and other officials to work, collaboratively and get this done so we could take care of the drainage short comings in our streets because when the streets get flooded, what happens next? the water rushes down, not just through the highways but to penetrate our subway system. and as a result, what happened yesterday, traipse were shut down. people were stranded. the peer that they must have experienced when this occurred. can i -- i cannot imagine. and i don't want this to happen again. and in preparation, we direced all of our state resources to be prepared. our dot-free authority, and
first responders embedded with the local teams here and throughout long island, nassau, rockland counties all of those have suffered some form of loss. we want to make sure ow crews were on the the ground. we also have pumping systems in the case taking care of the subways removing the water physically. and i want to thank everyone involved last night. but our transit workers are heroes. especially all of the bus operation that had to be deployed to take people spr stations to where they needed to go. so then extraordinary rescue operation just a shoe short hours ago. moments ago i was on the phone with the white house, president biden called, offered any assistance. any assistance that the state of new york needs. i told him we'll take him up on that. and what happens next, we'll be doing on the ground assessment of the damage with our fema team and our local partners and
making sure we get a true accounting of the loss. but he promised that he'll guarantee, i guarantee you will i approve any declaration new need, emergency declaration so we could get the money flowing to new york, to our m municipalities, to our citizens and businesses effects and the homeowners and also with respect to the homeowners who have experienced flooding in their own basements. i've directed the department of financial services to be in contact immediately with the insurance providers so they get people on the the ground, show up in the neighborhoods, get your claims adjustors and let them start filing. we have mobile units on the ground to this end as well. right now we still have limited services on the subway. i'll be heading out to long island to see some damage that occurred out there. but metro north and the lirr are not fully functioning at this time. but i want people to stay
engaged following the information and make sure they stay safe. i want to conclude by saying once again, new yorkers show what they're made out of. the collaboration going on an the constant communication between our teams is something that perhaps you don't see in the public, but it is real and it makes a difference and it helps save lives and lilly, i want to thank ow partners at the state level as well. state police and our rescue teams, had to rescue over 100 people in westchester and rockland county alone. so this is a scenario as we speak today but i'll be giving continuing reports. what i wanted to do first is assess where we are today, with my next question is where are we going next? how do we prevent this from happening and get money to build up the resiliencies in streets before we worried about the coastal areas, now it is about what is happening in the streets. the drainage systems that need to be enhanced and all of the resilience because of climate change, unfortunately this is something that we'll have to
deal with great regularity and we want to be prepared for this and do everything in our power to protect human life and property. thank you very much. with that i'd like to introduce senator schumer who has been very engaged as we spoke this morning already and i want to thank him for his partnership. >> okay, thank you, governor. and first my condolences and heart and prayers to all of the families who have lost loved ones. imagine the horror of sitting in your own basement apartment and the water just flooded in all of a sudden with no notice. and you struggle to get out but you can't. it is an awful, awful situation. and our hearts go out to them. i too want to thank all of our new yorkers at the city and the state level as well as the other localities who always go all out. unfortunately we in north korea
h -- in new york has experienced too many emergencies and we've learned how strong new yorkers are and how much our public servants want to go all out and risk their lives to preserve other people's lives and we thank them. i want to make two points here. number one, we'll do everything that we can to get all of the federal aid that is needed. we did this after sandy and many other storms. up state and the governor knows when we worked together on the storms up state and i spoke this morning to fema administrator, deann chriswell. you know what her job was before this, she was the city's oem commissioner. so she knows new york well. we will fight and make this and make new york declared a disaster area, i've spoken to the white house as well. and that will mean money. money for homeowners and
individuals, money for small businesses that may have been lost, and money to our cities, state and other local governments for the amount of money that they've had to lay out to deal with this crisis. and i will make sure as i have in the past that no stone is left unturned and all of the federal largesse, and the federal government when we know when a disaster hits one area, the whole country comes together and helps. and that is what we're going to ask here for new york. just as we're helping in california with the fires and out west with the fires, et cetera. and that relates to my second and final point. global warming is upon us. when you get two record rainfalls in a week, it is not just coincidence. when you get all of the changes that we've seen in weather, that is not a coincidence. global warming is upon us and it is going to get worse and worse and worse unless we do something
about it. and that is why it is so imperative to pass the two bills, the infrastructure bill, and the budget reconciliation bill. the second deals with climate change. and will reduce the amount of carbon we've put into the atmosphere by 50% by 2030. the first bill deals with infrastructure and built in that infrastructure is something they have started fostering with sandy. that we don't just build infrastructure, but we built resilience infrastructure, so when the floods or fires or anything else occurs, they are much more resistant. and you saw some results of that from the sandy money. but we need much more of it. and these bills do that. woe is us if we don't recognize these changes are due to climate change. woe is us if we don't do something about it quickly. both in building resilient infrastructure, and going to
clean power. whether it is in homes, in electricity, in transportation, to stop the global warming or at least reduce its awful effects on this country. i want to thank the governor for being here right on the spot. i want to thank the mayor, he's always available. our borough president and our great congressman who i work on these federal issues, john meeks and everybody who is here. thank you. and now it is my honor to call on mayor de blasio. >> thank you, senator. senator schumer is right, we are in a whole new world now. let's be blunt about it. we saw a horrifying storm last night. unlike anything we've seen before. and this is a reality we have to face. unfortunately the price paid by some new yorkers.
it was horrible and tragic. we've lost nine new yorkers to the storm. nine people who were alive at this exact moment yesterday. no idea that such a horrible fate could befall them. families in mourning right now, we need to be there for them and for all of the new yorkers who right now are dealing with the results of this horrifying storm. i want to thank senator schumer, we spoke earlier today, i know he will get us the maximum federal aid. our homeowners need it, our business owners need it. people are going through hell right now. they need help. i thank president biden and senator schumer for being willing immediately to help. governor, we spoke repeatedly last night and this morning. thank you for your leadership and the way the state of new york responded. we are truly all in this together. and storms effect all of us. but what we have to recognize is the suddenness, the brutality of
storms now. it is different. a record set two weeks ago, another set now. rainfall like we haven't seen ever before. this is the biggest wake-up call we could possibly get. we're going to have do a lot of things differently and quickly. but what is a constant is our first responders. i want to thank the men and women of the fdny and ems, nypd, environmental protection, all agencies out in force last night rescuing hundreds and hundreds of new yorkers. so many lives were saved because of the fast, courageous response of our first responders. people helped from a subway train safely, people helped out of a car in the flooded area, this happened literally hundreds
of times last night and god bless our first responders that were there. we have a lot of work to do right now to help new yorkers recover. but we also have a lot of work to do to change the very approach. agree with the governor, it is time for an entirely different approach. because we're getting a signal here. and it is not going to be easy. we're going to need all of that help possible from the federal government. but in our time, we have to make this change. we've gotten the message. we have to make a change to protect the lives of the people of this city. thank you. and now i'd like to call on someone who has been tremendously helpful and always makes sure we get help, congressman gregory meeks. >> first let me give my condolences to the family members, to the friends an the relatives, the neighbors on this block who have to be devastated.
one day it is a beautiful day. and we know that in queens neighborhoods are families. black associations, working together. neighbors protecting neighbors homes. this is absolutely devastating. and my heart reaches out to each and every one on this block and in this family. a mother, a son gone from us because of climate change and these record storms. storms that were once in 500 years i'm told. now that we have a look at them to be storms that come in a regular manner, more intense as indicated, and so i want to thank, i spoke to speaker pelosi to make sure that we work very
closely with senator schumer. so there is no separation between the house and the senate and i think all of the members of the united states congress and bringing the resources here to the city of new york. let me thank the mayor and the governor. for those working on this instantaneously. now we know we happen to be here in southern queens in the fifth congressional district knowing that we need infrastructure. it is absolutely crucial and important that we pass reconciliation. one of the reasons why it is important, i know for flooding, in southeastern queens, i have a request now passed in the house and has to be passed in the reconciliation bill, for close to $4 million for blocks like these. to improve the infrastructure and to stop the flooding that we foe takes place here. and if you just looked at what this place looked like in the pictures now at 10:00 p.m. last
night, it was devastating. and finally let me say thank you to all of the men and women working and of our emergency services and the heroes and she-roes from our transportation. when i looked at bus drivers and the subway getting people out into safety and rescuing people stuck in their cars. they are really heroes. putting themself at risk for the rest of us. so, again, thank you. i want to thank my city councilman who has been working here for a long period of time. and in this very block. trying to make a difference for the people of this district. for all of the hard work that you do, and the city council and our former borough president now d.a. melinda katz for all she does. i want to bring up the current borough president who is working
very hard to make sure that this borough receives all of the infrastructure dollars and the attention that it rightfully needs. donovan richards. >> thank you congressman and thank you to the governor and the mayor for their support this morning or into the wee early morning hours. i want to thank all of the agencies. first off, let me start by saying that we mourn all 2.4 million queens residents mourn the lives of those lost on the early morning hours due to this catastrophic storm. let me also just say that we've surveyed a lot of different communities across the borough and i'm happy to say that rosedale and the rockaways, because of the investment by the city, i want to thank the mayor for his $2 billion investment into queens, we saw a different
story based on that investment. but we know that is still not enough. and that is why we're here today. we need washington, d.c. to move with a level of urgency. we've been here before. in hurricane sandy. we still are waiting for the rockaway reformulation plan and we have a beach plan, there are many parts of this borough that historically have flooded and it is only go ting to get worse. if we don't address climate change we'll continue to lose lives across this borough and this country and state and we don't have to look any further to louisiana to see what happens there as well. a few things i want to mention to homeowners out there today. please document all of your loss, or losses, i i've spoken some homeowners, put up the comptroller and your insurance
companies. residents are flood insurance. and i'm also asking companies to allow their workers to work remote on today. and if you're not an essential worker to stay off the roads. for the neighborhoods of white stone and corner point and parts of flushing and left rack, we've asked the governor today for assistance to our small businesses until our homeowners and she's given her stamp of approval on all of those things so there is a lot of work. we are not out of the woods. queens needs to see much more infrastructure investment. we cannot wait until tomorrow. we need it today. these lives could have been saved if we had investment that we saw we needed a long time ago. with that being said, it brings me great honor to bring up my colleague, smomeone who works with me, him being a civil
service and labor, someone who worked to secure $2 billion for south queens, den eek miller. thank you. >> good morning. first of all, my condolences to the ramstrick family and i want to thank the governor and congressman and borough president and the collaboration of folks of government that have come together to address this issue. and they have done so very well. articulated the issues of climate change and infrastructure. like the lack thereof and the politics are local and the politicians have mentioned that i have spent the better part of ten years on this street here. and i probably had about six to 12 inches of water in my basement this morning.
but i always say that you feel like the man with no shoes until you come over here on 183rd street and then you see the man with no feet, right. where, i bet you this is my mother. every time you get to a mic. >> you're okay. >> you better pick that up. >> mom, your son is dogo kay. he's doing a press conference. if that is your little boy, he's in good hands. >> oh, my gosh. >> he's looking good. he's safe. >> have to make sure it is his mother. >> it's my mother. so, um, yeah, we felt like the -- until you see the person with no feet. where folks here have a foot of water on the first floor and not in the basement. and the true irony is, as borough president richards indicated of the $2 billion in infrastructure that was spent nearly half of the city's infrastructure budget spent here in southeast queens, the
priority was 183rd treat. when that schedule came out, we said no, don't do heights or springfield gardens, do 183rd street first. and guess what? they did. and then they did it again because it wasn't done right the first time. and we're still here today. and so there has to be over sight. and we have to figure out what we're not doing right. that we have to make sure that these folks that every time is rains that they're not out here. every time is rains my staff and i, we have the hot spots as the borough president knows. you call over here, you call certain areas in springfield gardens to see if it is working. and guess what? two weeks ago when we had the major flood, the record breaker, we were okay. this is different. and the loss lives are unacceptable. we absolutely have to make sure that we're taking care of families. and one of the tng