Biden warns of ‘another tough hurricane season’ this year

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President Joe Biden speaks during a hurricane preparedness and response briefing this season at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

PA

President Joe Biden warned Wednesday that the country is likely to experience “another difficult hurricane season” this year, and he pledged his administration is ready to respond to the storms and help Americans recover.

“We know hurricanes are coming. They get more extreme every season,” Biden said before a briefing of senior federal officials, including Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge.

Biden urged Americans to “heed hurricane warnings and follow the advice of your local authorities.”

Before his remarks, Biden toured a hangar at Joint Base Andrews to see the planes used to track and respond to hurricanes.

One of the planes is used to fly through and over storms, capturing data that allows meteorologists to produce more accurate forecasts.

“It’s truly amazing what you are all doing to protect us,” Biden said.

Last year’s worst storm was Hurricane Ida, which caused $75 billion in damage and 55 deaths. Although the initial impact was in Louisiana, where the category four storm made landfall, it also brought heavy rain and flooding to the mid-Atlantic and northeast.

Biden visited damaged neighborhoods in New Jersey and New York after the Ida strike, warning that climate change has become “everyone’s crisis” and represents a “code red” danger.

“The threat is there. It’s not getting better,” Biden said then. “The question is whether it can get worse. We can prevent it from getting worse.

However, even as Biden raised the country’s ambitions to cut greenhouse gas emissions, he was unable to reach a consensus with Democrats in the Senate on how to fight change. climatic.

This year, Colorado State, the University of Arizona and Accuweather are all forecasting a busier than average hurricane season.

Kenneth Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center, frequently points out that the United States had more Category 4 and 5 hurricanes making landfall from 2017 to 2021 than from 1963 to 2016.

This year, he recently told a Florida TV station, “It looks like we’re going to be busy again.”

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Associated Press writer Seth Borenstein contributed to this report.