By Emily Drooby
It’s been almost a week since Tropical Storm Ida brought extreme flooding to Queens. As President Biden prepared to visit the borough, a neighborhood in Flushing was still picking up the pieces of their shattered homes.
“In ten minutes, everything’s a disaster,” said Marco Velasco. “Everything I lost, everything, the water was coming very fast.”
The entire basement and first floor of his home were destroyed by the flood waters. His family narrowly escaped death on the second floor of their home, but some of his neighbors didn’t.
Marco and his family are now staying at a hotel thanks to the Red Cross, but unfortunately, that ends soon. He said the damp smell in his home is what’s left.
“But after that,” Marco said, “I have nowhere to live now, in this situation with the smell.”
The Catholic man tells Currents News that his homeowners insurance doesn’t cover this flooding damage. He has no idea what he’s going to do. Like many, he’s planning to rely on FEMA for aid.
For now, some hope is being brought to Marco and his neighbors during a presidential visit to New York and New Jersey on Tuesday, Sept. 7. President Biden toured storm damage in both states and called for federal aid in order to fortify infrastructure so it can withstand any future powerful storms.
The president told reporters, “We’re at one of those inflection points where we either act or we are going to be in real, real trouble.”
Over the weekend, Biden approved disaster declarations in New York, which means those affected in Bronx, Kings, Queens, Richmond, and Westchester counties can receive federal funds.
New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio announced additional relief and extended emergency shelter services.