President Biden called for increased federal investment in communities to help them better endure major storms while visiting areas in the northeast ravaged by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. The storm dumped record-breaking rainfall, flash floods, and tornadoes along the East Coast. This was Biden’s second trip to communities hit by Ida after visiting hard-hit Louisiana. The President warned of a “code red” moment on climate change, predicting that natural disasters will continue with “more frequency and ferocity.” Nearly 1 in 3 Americans live in a county hit by a weather disaster in the past 3 months.
The White House plans to ask Congress for at least $24 billion in additional federal aid to deal with hurricanes, wildfires, and other climate impacts. Ida’s economic toll just in the Northeast is expected to reach $28 billion, according to disaster modeler Chuck Watson. Nationwide, the cost was just over $60 billion, which would make it the fifth-most destructive storm in U.S. history. (Reuters, WSJ $, Washington Post $, NPR, The Hill, Bloomberg $; Climate Signals background: Hurricanes, extreme precipitation increase, 2021 Western wildfire season)