Biden surveys Ida aftermath in New York and New Jersey

By Melissa Mahtani and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 7:39 p.m. ET, September 7, 2021
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3:34 p.m. ET, September 7, 2021

Ida death toll in the Gulf region rises to at least 22

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Philip Adams walks through what remains of his living room and kitchen at his destroyed home in Lockport, Louisiana, on Monday.
Philip Adams walks through what remains of his living room and kitchen at his destroyed home in Lockport, Louisiana, on Monday. (John Locher/AP)

Louisiana Department of Health on Tuesday confirmed two more storm-related deaths following Hurricane Ida.

According to the department, the St. Tammany Parish coroner confirmed two deaths that are considered storm-related: a 68-year-old man who fell off of a roof while making repairs to damage caused by the hurricane and a 71-year-old man who died of lack of oxygen during an extended power outage.

This brings the total of Ida Louisiana fatalities to 20. Two more deaths were previously reported in Mississippi, for a Gulf total of 22.

2:44 p.m. ET, September 7, 2021

Biden administration asks for billions for extreme weather recovery efforts

From CNN's From Betsy Klein, Ella Nilsen, Priscilla Alvarez and Nikki Carvajal 

The Biden administration is asking for billions of dollars for extreme weather recovery efforts and the resettlement of Afghan refugees in its proposal to keep the government funded past Sept. 30. 

In a Tuesday afternoon call with reporters, administration officials detailed the billions of dollars the White House is requesting from Congress in addition to the general appropriations to keep the government running.

The officials, who declined to be named, called on Congress to appropriate more than $14 billion to aid with recovery and “unmet needs” from recent natural disasters, including wildfires and storms, plus at least $10 billion to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

The amount of funding for hurricanes is a recognition of the extent of the devastation from climate-fueled disasters, including fires, hurricanes, and floods.

“Climate change is producing more severe natural disasters like storms and wildfires,” an administration official said Tuesday. “We need to do more to help states recover from recent and ongoing natural disasters, they have many unmet needs.”

The Biden administration is also asking Congress to separately pass $150 billion for clean energy and climate change resilience funding in its bipartisan infrastructure bill, which has yet to pass the US House of Representatives. 

“Every part of the country is getting hit by extreme weather, and we're now living in real time what the country's gonna look like,” Biden said as he toured flooding devastation in New Jersey on Tuesday. “We can't turn it back very much but we can prevent it from getting worse.”

2:42 p.m. ET, September 7, 2021

Biden tours damage in flood-ravaged Manville, New Jersey 

President Joe Biden tours a neighborhood in Manville, New Jersey, on Tuesday.
President Joe Biden tours a neighborhood in Manville, New Jersey, on Tuesday. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

President Biden is touring damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida in Manville, New Jersey, alongside the state's governor, Phil Murphy. ​

"We have seen him speaking to some local officials and comforting people. We have seen him hugging what looked like some local residents there as he looks at just the mounds of garbage and debris in the aftermath from all of this flash flooding and the aftermath of Tropical Storm Ida," CNN's Alisyn Camerota reported.  "So many of these homes are uninhabitable now." 

Biden arrived in New Jersey Tuesday morning and was greeted by the governor, the governor's wife, Tammy Murphy, and other state lawmakers.

He then received a briefing on the damage and described the destruction as "profound." The President will travel next to Queens, New York, to survey damage.

In addition to the 13 storm-related deaths in Louisiana, there have been at least 50 storm-related deaths in the Northeast, spanning Connecticut, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Biden has approved disaster declarations for New Jersey and New York.

In remarks earlier today, Biden warned that the current spate of extreme weather events requires immediate intervention, making a continued pitch for his sweeping infrastructure plan. The President said he would be asking the local officials how they plan to rebuild in the wake of these storms, taking climate change into account.

CNN's Maegan Vazquez and Betsy Klein contributed reporting to this post. 

2:03 p.m. ET, September 7, 2021

Country is at an "inflection point" with climate change, Biden says after surveying Ida storm damage

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

President Joe Biden speaks during a briefing in Hillsborough Township, New Jersey, on Tuesday.
President Joe Biden speaks during a briefing in Hillsborough Township, New Jersey, on Tuesday. (Evan Vucci/AP)

While visiting an area of New Jersey hard-hit by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, President Biden said the country and world need to act now to combat climate change.

"Every part of the country is getting hit by extreme weather. And we're now living in real-time, what the country is going to look like. ...We can't turn it back very much — but we can prevent it from getting worse. And so we're all in this��together," Biden said while meeting with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and other officials in Hillsborough Township, New Jersey.

Biden said that he's visited areas affected by extreme weather across the country, including wildfires in California and hurricanes in Louisiana.

There have been at least 27 reported deaths from Ida in New Jersey. The majority of the storm-related deaths were people who were caught in their vehicles by flooding, according to Murphy.

"We're going to build back realizing what the status of the climate is now, what the trajectory of it is going to be, and ... we all know, we can't just build back to what it was before. Whatever damage was done in New Jersey, you can't build back and restore what it was before, because another tornado, another 10 inches of rain, is going to produce the same kind of results," Biden said.

The President said the country is at an "inflection point" in the climate crisis.

"I think the country has finally acknowledged the fact that global warming is real, and it's moving at an incredible pace, and we've got to do something about it," he said.

Biden also noted he will be going to the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.

12:31 p.m. ET, September 7, 2021

Queens borough president says he wants Biden to see the city's devastation "and deliver"

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

Danette Rivera, who lives in Queens, New York, stands by a window that she tried to climb out of as Ida floodwaters rose in her basement apartment.
Danette Rivera, who lives in Queens, New York, stands by a window that she tried to climb out of as Ida floodwaters rose in her basement apartment. (NDZ/STAR MAX/IPx/AP)

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards told CNN he wants the President “to see the devastation first hand, the pain that many of our residents are facing right here in Queens county.”

“I want him to see how people livelihoods were destroyed” due to the storm, Richards told CNN’s Boris Sanchez.

Biden is set to travel to Queens, New York, later today after he meets with state officials and surveys damage in New Jersey.

“I also want him to deliver,” Richards said, adding, ”we need money, we need federal intervention, to really update our infrastructure.”

“Now’s the time to get it done," he added.

“We’re having a debate now about climate change once again, and this is nothing new,” he said invoking Sandy and Katrina.

He said city and state officials are working to get residents help in their homes so they don’t have to travel to locations to seek it out.

“We also need FEMA to cut the red tape,” predominantly to get “checks into people’s hands right away," he said.

Richards also said the "city is also pumping out basements,” as many residents do not have money to do so.

Richards — who says he grew up in basement apartments in Queens — when asked about building codes, stressed the need for affordable housing.

“We need to ensure people can live in safe dwellings,” he said.

He hopes to legalizing basement homes and subsidies for homeowners.

“Systemic, racism, housing issues…the cost of living in NYC is really expensive, a basement apartment provides affordability," he added.

“So we need to make sure homeowners have the tools to upgrade their basements and to make them safer, to make sure there’s windows, to make sure there’s at least two exits in basements as well," the borough president said.

“Everyone is living on margins and this is what you see largely in immigrant and Black and brown communities across the city," he noted.  

11:58 a.m. ET, September 7, 2021

These are the people traveling with Biden to New York and New Jersey Tuesday

President Joe Biden arrives in New York on Tuesday.
President Joe Biden arrives in New York on Tuesday. (Anthony Behar/Sipa USA/AP)

President Biden is traveling to Manville, New Jersey, and Queens, New York, Tuesday to survey storm damage from Hurricane Ida, the White House said.

The President will also meet with families, first responders and local elected officials. According to the White House, these are the people accompanying Biden on his trip:

  • FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell
  • Jen O’Malley Dillon, assistant to the President & Deputy Chief of Staff
  • Liz Sherwood-Randall, assistant to the President & Homeland Security Advisor and Deputy National Security Advisory
  • Annie Tomasini, assistant to the President and Director of Oval Office Operations
  • Gina McCarthy, assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor
  • Jen Psaki, assistant to the President and press secretary 
  • Julissa Reynoso, assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady
  • Julie Rodriguez, deputy assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Stephen Goepfert, special assistant to the President and Personal Aide to the President
  • Carlyn Reichel, special assistant to the President and NSC Senior Director for Speechwriting and Strategic Initiatives
  • Meghan Hays, special assistant to the President and Director of Message Planning
  • Travis Dredd, special assistant to the President and Trip Director

This is Biden's second trip in the wake of Ida. The President visited storm ravaged Louisiana on Friday where thousands of people remain without power.

11:46 a.m. ET, September 7, 2021

Louisiana hospitals treat 141 people for carbon monoxide poisoning in wake of Hurricane Ida

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) says "four people have died of carbon monoxide poisoning and 141 people have been treated for inhalation of the deadly, odorless gas since Hurricane Ida."

ER visits for carbon monoxide poisoning were reported in Greater New Orleans, Baton Rouge as well as the neighboring River Parishes and Northshore area "in the past week," a release from LDH said Monday.

LDH urged residents to "please use your portable or stand-by generator safely" by following the advice from the Office of the State Fire Marshal, which includes placing generators at least 20 feet away from a residence.

Some of the areas of the state hit hardest by Ida could be looking at more than three weeks before power is restored, CNN has reported.

You can find more information on how to safely use a generator here.

11:29 a.m. ET, September 7, 2021

New Jersey governor says it will take "months more likely than weeks" to rebuild state after storm

From CNN's Mirna Alsharif

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said that he's "incredibly gratified" that President Biden will be visiting the state Tuesday morning, reiterating that he's hoping a major disaster declaration can be signed for more of New Jersey's counties.

"He's been pitch perfect from moment one on this," Murphy said about the President, speaking to CNN's Jim Sciutto on New Day Tuesday morning.

When asked what messaging he'd like to hear from the President during his visit, Murphy said one of support is important. 

"I think the message has to be number one, as he's been saying, we're going to be with you as you get back on your feet, as long as that journey may take, both the state government and the federal government will be by your side," Murphy said. "And secondly, if never before, the argument is overwhelmingly compelling for congress to act on climate resiliency infrastructure, that we need desperately in our state, as the most densely populated state in America, to prevent more of these storms happening in the future."

Murphy said it will take "months more likely than weeks" to rebuild in the state following the damage caused by Tropical Storm Ida.

"And that's the message we've been giving to folks, that this is going to be a long road but we're going to stand with them at every step of the way," Murphy said.

11:21 a.m. ET, September 7, 2021

There are still more than 400,000 customers without power in Louisiana, energy company says

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos

People walk through a damaged neighborhood in Grand Isle, Louisiana, on Monday.
People walk through a damaged neighborhood in Grand Isle, Louisiana, on Monday. (John Locher/AP)

There are now 415,613 customers without power in the state of Louisiana as clean-up and recovery efforts continue after Hurricane Ida, according to PowerOutage.us.

Entergy Louisiana, which provides electric service to more than 1 million customers, said it has now restored power to more than half of all customers who lost power as a result of the storm.

“Entergy Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans have restored a combined 457,000 customers out of the peak of 902,000 that lost service. Entergy New Orleans has restored nearly 70% of customers impacted,” the company said in a statement.

Entergy said 30,679 poles, 36,469 spans of wire, and 5,959 transformers were damaged, which it says is more than Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, Delta, and Zeta combined.

“We have made significant progress in getting the lights back on for our customers in spite of all the challenges we are facing,” Entergy’s Vice President of Distribution Operations John Hawkins said. “Our crews are encountering massive damage – particularly in the hardest-hit areas. We have assembled a storm team of nearly 26,000 people who will not stop until the last light is back on.”