New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Alejandra O'Connell-Domenech & Robert Pozarycki

Bxtimes.com Elected officials warn New York City not ready for effects of climate change after Hurricane Ida triggers flash floods by Alejandra O'Connell-Domenech & Robert Pozarycki

Elected officials warn New York City not ready for effects of climate change after Hurricane Ida triggers flash floods

“Experiencing all this flooding in NYC right now and thinking about all the politicians who told me that pursuing a Green New Deal to adapt our nat’l infrastructure to climate change is ‘unrealistic’ & ‘too expensive,’” Ocasio-Cortez said. “As if doing too little is the responsible thing to do?”

Similar themes were repeated Thursday morning at a press conference in Queens in which various elected officials — including Governor Kathy Hochul, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer — all spoke of the urgent need to reinvest in infrastructure and “build back better.”

They specifically pointed to the trillion-dollar infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion proposed budget, both of which are before the Senate, as urgent needs to upgrade New York’s resiliency in the face of future, more severe weather events.

Other members of the New York City Council on Thursday echoed earlier calls to address climate change and for rapid investments in resiliency including Manhattan Councilmembers Ben Kallos and Carlina Rivera.

“Climate change is not merely a problem for the future — it’s here now. We must redouble our efforts toward resiliency in order to address the real and prescient threats of the climate crisis in New York City,” said Rivera. “How we do that is multifold: we need to invest in Local Law 97, pass critical climate resiliency legislation such as Intro 2317, and develop solutions to current weaknesses in our weather emergency response.”