A Presidential Visit and a Promise of Federal Aid
[Want to get New York Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.] It’s Tuesday. Weather: Sunny and nice. High around 80. Alternate-side parking …
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Weather: Sunny and nice. High around 80.
Alternate-side parking: Suspended today and tomorrow (Rosh Hashana).
Credit…Benjamin Norman for The New York Times
Federal aid is coming for victims of last week’s catastrophic storm.
As homeowners around the region continue to sift through their waterlogged belongings in the wake of torrential rains and lethal flooding, the governors of New York and New Jersey announced yesterday that they had been granted federal aid money from the Biden administration, which declared areas in both states major disaster zones after they were hit by remnants of Hurricane Ida.
[Read more about the federal aid from my colleague Sarah Maslin Nir.]
The funding, which will come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, means those who have been displaced from their homes in several approved counties, including people who do not have insurance, will be eligible for money to repair their homes, officials in both states said. Supportive services such as crisis counseling will also be covered.
Biden will visit storm-torn areas
President Biden is set to visit parts of New York and New Jersey today to survey the effects of the storm, which has left more than 40 dead and created millions of dollars of damage across both states.
Mr. Biden will visit Manville, N.J., where a banquet hall and several homes exploded as a result of storm damage, and Queens, where several people drowned inside their basement apartments.
While state officials have focused on the immediate aftermath of the monumental storm, they have also said that they have plans to secure the region against future extreme weather.
“The world is changing,” Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said last week.
Floodwaters damage every house on a Queens block
Among those hit hardest by the storm were residents of a block in Flushing, Queens, whose lives were strewn out on the curb last weekend, a scene captured in powerful portraits by Benjamin Norman.
“This was our first house,” Joanna Velasco told the reporter Chelsia Rose Marcius. Ms. Velasco and her husband had poured their earnings into the home on 153rd Street where they raised their family.
A few doors down, Sunciya Vijayarajah stood on her stoop near piles of her children’s school papers, sodden bags of basmati rice and a large statue of an elephant. One of the few items that remained after the deluge was a framed snapshot of Ms. Vijayarajah, now 42, taken on her wedding day in 1998 in Sri Lanka.
“My wedding sari is gone,” Ms. Vijayarajah said.
From The Times
Michael K. Williams, Omar From ‘The Wire,’ Is Dead at 54
Alphonso David, Who Advised Cuomo, Fired as Human Rights Campaign President
For a Second Year, Jews Mark the High Holy Days in the Shadow of Covid
Lower Manhattan Rebounded After 9/11, but the Pandemic Erased the Gains
Trying to Find Your Mother’s Remains From Ground Zero, 20 Years Later
Nxivm’s Second-in-Command Helped Build a Culture of Abuse, Survivors Say
Want more news? Check out our full coverage.
The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.
What we’re reading
The number of riders ejected from the subway for defying the mask mandate last month was the lowest level in nearly a year. [The City]
How homeless New Yorkers rode out the torrential rainfall and dangerous flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Ida. [Gothamist]
The Fire Department and Police Department rescued a man trapped in a 25-foot hole in the Queens woods. [New York Post]
And finally: Meet the plover patrol
The Times’s Daniel E. Slotnik writes:
Piping plovers, dun-colored shorebirds that lay their eggs in tiny scrapes in the sand, are easy to miss as they dart over the beach. Chris Allieri is harder to overlook.
This past spring, Mr. Allieri started the N.Y.C. Plover Project, an organization dedicated to protecting the threatened birds on beaches in the Rockaways in Queens. He has recruited more than 50 volunteers who have spent most of the spring and summer patrolling the beaches to defend plovers from dogs and oblivious beachgoers.
Mr. Allieri, 47, who lives in Brooklyn, saw his first plover as a child with his father, an avid birder, at the Jersey Shore. He said it was like seeing “a unicorn.”
Last year, Mr. Allieri was at Fort Tilden Beach at Gateway National Recreation Area in Queens when a plover appeared next to him on the beach. Then he saw another, and another.
He also saw dogs, off-leash, chasing the fragile birds.
“Who’s protecting them?” Mr. Allieri said.
This spring Mr. Allieri started the Plover Project to educate beachgoers about the birds and to call authorities if necessary to protect them.
Plovers have seen their coastal habitat destroyed by human development and erosion. At one point there were barely more than 720 breeding pairs of Atlantic piping plovers left.
In the New York region, plovers tend to nest on the Jersey Shore, on Long Island and at Rockaway Beach, Fort Tilden and Breezy Point beach in Queens. They arrive in March and can stay until the end of August, through the hot months when humans also flock to the sea.
That timing is unfortunate, and some beachfront communities have resented the birds for decades because protecting them often means restricting beaches.
Whole stretches of beach can be cordoned off. Walking dogs, flying kites, lighting fireworks or off-roading to a secluded spot for fishing are banned. Anyone caught harming a plover can face stiff financial penalties and even jail time.
Over the years, residents have mostly come to accept the restrictions, said Gary Vegliante, mayor of the village of West Hampton Dunes on Long Island.
“The birds are cute, nobody wants to see them abandoned or lost,” he said.
It’s Tuesday — watch your step.
Metropolitan Diary: First lipstick
Its slim gold cartridge might
have been WAC surplus,
(matte) “Medium Red”
chalked up my pout.
Now that my mouth
could take a guy out,
I got moxie, grew some
strolled home, heels
slung over one shoulder,
in stocking feet — gliding
the sidewalk of Park Avenue
way past midnight.
— Rachel Eisler
Illustrated by Agnes Lee. Read more Metropolitan Diary here.
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