Daily Column – 9th September 2021

Following a week of extreme weather, US legislators are under increased pressure to modernise the country’s infrastructure so that future journeys do not require a canoe.

Hurricane Ida knocked out electricity to 1 million Louisiana homes and businesses earlier this week, then dropped its remnants on the MAtlantic and Northeast on Wednesday. Ida’s leftovers killed at least 3 dozen people and caused record flooding and rainfall in the region.

To get an idea of how much rain poured on NYC on Wednesday night, consider the following: In only one hour, the city got nearly as much rain as the city of Chicago usually receives throughout the month of September.
A flooded river in Philadelphia, a baseball diamond under water, and a man enjoying floating his hookah along an alley are among the bizarre images.
It serves as a wake-up call.

According to the IPCC’s main report released last month, climate change is causing once-rare severe weather events more regular. However, the present infrastructure in the United States does not appear to be adequate.

On Wednesday, massive volumes of water surged into certain NYC subway stations, flooding the city’s subways for the third time this summer. Service was temporarily halted before gradually restarting yesterday afternoon.
Meanwhile, in Louisiana, Ida’s widespread power outages have spurred criticism about the state’s electric system, which is mostly from the 1950s and 1960s.
We haven’t even touched on the wildfires raging throughout the West, which are revealing the grid’s flaws.
Isn’t there a law in the works for infrastructure? Yes, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill this summer. It includes $46 billion for disaster preparedness, and supporters say it is critical to strengthening the US’ climate defences.

They refer to the $14.5 billion hurricane defence system erected around New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina as proof that government expenditure may help prevent disaster. On Sunday, the rebuilt levees effectively repelled the worst of Hurricane Ida.

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