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Mayor of New York town says “hundreds” of people had to be rescued from flooding

Commuters walk into a flooded subway station in New York on September 2. (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

The governors of New York and New Jersey said improvements in infrastructure are needed after areas of the states experienced widespread, deadly flooding that upended transit systems. 

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said officials need to look ahead to anticipate storms as the climate crisis produces stronger storms.

“As it relates to our infrastructure, our resiliency, our whole mindset, the playbook that we use, we’ve got to leap forward and get out of ahead of this. Any infrastructure money we get, I bet you a lot of it will be put into resilient infrastructure, because that is what you need when you’re the most densely populated state in the nation … I think any amount of investment we could make in the years ahead in resilient infrastructure will be investment that will help us,” he said.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said there need to be investments in infrastructure so the city and surrounding areas are better equipped to handle flooding. 

“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 haven’t experienced this before but we should expect it next time, and that means we have to continue investments in infrastructure, working in partnership with our federal government,” she said. 

“I don’t want this to happen again,” she added. 

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer also underscored the need for “resilient infrastructure.”

“Global warming is upon us, and it’s going to get worse and worse and worse unless we do something about it,” the Senate majority leader said, calling for Congress to pass both the infrastructure and budget reconciliation bills.

“The second deals with climate change and will reduce the amount of carbon we put into the atmosphere by 50% by 2030. The first bill deals with infrastructure, and built into that infrastructure is something they have started fostering with [Superstorm] Sandy — that we don’t just build infrastructure, but we built resilient infrastructure, so when these floods or fires or anything else occurs, they are much more resistant,” he said. 

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said more people will die if improvements in infrastructure are not addressed to combat climate change.

“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 sorely needed a long time ago,” he said.

“If we do not address climate change, we will continue to lose lives” across the borough and state, Richards added.

CNN’s Kristina Sgueglia contributed to this post.

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