Wednesday, January 8, 2014
 

 

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Broad series of protections aimed at strengthening New York’s communities against extreme weather

ALBANY - Vice President Joe Biden joined Governor Andrew Cuomo for the unveiling of “Reimagining New York for a New Reality,” a $17 billion strategy that will transform New York’s infrastructure, transportation networks, energy supply, coastal protection, weather warning system and emergency management to better protect New Yorkers from future extreme weather. The full press conference can be viewed here.

“The new reality in New York is we are getting hit by 100 year storms every couple of years. We have to wake up to that new reality by completely reimagining our state to be ready for any future disaster,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “Our plan completely transforms the way we build and protect our infrastructure, safeguard our energy supply, prepare our citizens and first responders, and provide fuel and electricity. I want to thank Vice President Biden for being here today to support our efforts to reimagine New York and for supporting our state throughout the Sandy recovery process.”

"Governor, I am delighted to be able to be here with you today,” said Vice President Joe Biden. “I think you rebuilding New York, reimagining a future is exactly what we have to do in this country. And once again, in the tradition of this state and the tradition of Andrew Cuomo, you’re leading. You’re not just leading in New York, you’re leading the country. And I think a lot of governors and a lot of folks can learn an awful lot from what they see and what you do here."

New York has suffered nine presidentially declared disasters in the three years since Governor Cuomo took office. A key theme of the state's rebuilding program is that extreme weather is a new reality.

New York presents special challenges in protecting its critical systems and infrastructure. Much of the critical infrastructure in New York City —transit and electric systems in particular—is built underground and is susceptible to seawater. On Long Island, communities, power systems, wastewater systems, and fuel terminals are built along the coastline. In Upstate New York, communities and infrastructure are often built along waterways vulnerable to increasingly severe flooding.

The State is using its share of federal funds appropriated for Sandy, Irene and Lee (along with state funds) to implement this far-reaching program,