President Biden said that the administration is taking the potential impact of Tropical Storm Henri “seriously,” despite it no longer being a hurricane, during remarks from the White House on Sunday.
“Fortunately it’s no longer a hurricane, it’s been downgraded to a tropical storm. And we are taking it seriously, though, because the size and the storm’s surge and the rainfall it’s producing,” the President said.
Biden said the federal government is prepared to assist those state’s impacted by the storm and the heavy rainfall.
“And while New Englanders are used to dealing with some tough weather, this storm has the potential for widespread consequences across the region with significant flooding, power outages, that could affect hundreds of thousands of people. And so we’re doing everything we can now to help those states prepare, respond and recover. I can’t think of anyone better to lead this operation than Deanne Criswell of FEMA,” he said.
Biden said that he spoke with governors of the states that could be affected and “urged them to take advantage of the assistance FEMA can offer in advance and committed to do everything we can to support their communities through the storm and afterwards.
He continued, “FEMA has already prepositioned resources in the region to speed our ability to respond, including food, water and life-saving communications equipment, as well as generators. In close cooperation with the electrical sector, preparations are in place to address significant power outages and resources and support that’s staged at the edge of this storm to be able to move quickly in to help.”
Biden said that he already approved emergency declarations for Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York.
Biden encouraged residents in the Northeast to “do their part to prepare.”
“Follow the guidance from the local authorities. Some places have already had heavy rains and winds and dangerous storm surges. Henri is going to continue to move across much of the northeast. So it’s important to monitor it closely and be prepared in your home and your community. Make sure you have the supplies for your entire household… And don’t forget that you may need to seek shelter while battling the Delta variant and Covid-19. So wear a mask, and try to observe social distancing,” he said.