Socialist Worker

More die as US state fails those hit by storm

Far from helping, President Biden is creating conditions that will lead to more disasters, says Sophie Squire

Issue No. 2771

Biden offers warm words but little action over climate change

Biden offers warm words but little action over climate change (Pic: Wikicommons)


The death toll after Hurricane Ida swept across the eastern US last week has risen to more than 70 people—and many people are still missing.

The huge storm brought ­devastation to Louisiana and the city New Orleans last week, but since then flash flooding and heavy rains have hit the north east of the country.

Most of those who died after flooding in New York city were trapped in basement apartments, which often house the city’s ­poorest residents.

Many people are angry that the state made no plans to evacuate those living in these apartments when it became clear that the hurricane rains were going to hit and flooding was inevitable.

Francisco Moya, a city ­councillor from Queens told the New York Times, “It is ­unacceptable that we did not prepare for Ida with the same rigour that we did for (storm) Henri, and that is a failure on the city’s part.”

In the neighbouring state of New Jersey, Ida caused 27 storm deaths and four people are still missing. Many people died after flooding trapped them in their cars.

The storm has also ruptured an oil pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Photographs of the spill taken just off Port Fourchon, Louisiana showed a miles-long slick on top of the waves.

Meanwhile, the state of Louisiana is still in crisis with some parts of the state expected to be without power until the end of the month, and many still without running water or sanitation.

Almost 600,000 people are affected.

Eric Mertz, a resident of St Charles Parish in New Orleans said, “I’m just wondering where the help is.

“I don’t have air conditioning. No lights. I had Covid last year. I was in intensive care for 14 days, and I’m on oxygen. And I don’t have any electricity. It’s rough.”

It was revealed this week that residents of seven care homes in Louisiana were found relocated to a packed warehouse to ride out the storm.

Seven patients died, and many were hospitalised there, in squalid conditions that officials said, “may cause a danger to public life, health and safety”.

People were on mattresses on the floor, without food or clean clothes, surrounded by a strong odour of faeces.

The care homes are operated by a “commercial developer”.

Exploration 

President Biden, speaking at the White House last Friday, said that the US state was “here to help” all those affected by the storm.

In reality, Biden is increasing the likelihood of climate chaos.

As Hurricane Ida hit, his ­administration announced they would open up more of the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas exploration.

While the hurricane has ­demonstrated the state’s inability to prepare for extreme weather, it also shows Biden will always be on the side of the oil and gas bosses.

The protests planned for the COP climate talks in Scotland in November will be an opportunity for people to show their anger at Biden and all the other world ­leaders whose pursuit of profits is leading to disaster.


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