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Biden surveys Ida Storm damage in New Jersey, New York — warns of ‘code red’ moment on climate change by Seung Min Kim

At least 23 people died, including a New York City toddler, and tens of thousands were overwhelmed by floods as the remnants of Hurricane Ida devastated the tri-state area overnight with historic rainfall, at least one tornado and savage winds. Nine of the confirmed fatalities were in two boroughs — a 2-year-old boy, 45-, 86- and 48-year-old women and 50- and 22-year-old men in Queens and a 66-year-old man in Brooklyn. Details on the ninth New York City victim, which Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed at a mid-morning news briefing, weren’t immediately clear. NYPD Commissioner said it appears all the New York City home deaths involved people who lived in basement apartments. “Our hearts ache for the lives lost in last night’s storm. Please keep them and their loved ones in your thoughts today,” the mayor said Thursday. “They were our fellow New Yorkers and to their families, your city will be there for you in the days ahead.”

President Biden on Tuesday warned of a “code red” moment on climate change as he toured two northeastern states ravaged by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, while his administration prepared to ask Congress for billions in federal aid to respond to last week’s storm and other natural disasters.

Biden, in his second Ida-related visit in less than a week, used his trip to press for robust action to combat climate change and focus attention on his expansive domestic infrastructure agenda in Congress. Predicting that natural disasters will continue to occur with “more frequency and ferocity,” Biden said the “nation and the world are in peril” and implored passage of his “Build Back Better” plan, which will be drafted on Capitol Hill this month and is expected to include funding to deal with the warming planet.

In his visits Tuesday, Biden also referenced findings from a Washington Post report that found nearly 1 in 3 Americans live in a county hit by a weather disaster in the past three months — illustrating the expansive reach of the destruction wrought by climate change.

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