NY sets up service centres to help residents recover from flash floods


The emergency management and social service departments in New York City (NYC) has announced the establishment of five service centres in a bid to support individuals and families affected by the devastating flash floods brought by the powerful hurricane Ida.

The service centres will provide those affected with in-person support and information on resources and services available, the NYC Emergency Management said in a statement on Saturday.

“New York City government agencies, non-profit organisations, and community-based organisations will be on-site to help connect families and individuals to critical services, including enrolment in public benefits and health insurance, housing, food assistance, and mental health counselling,” Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.

It was noted that visitors to these sites will not be asked about their immigration status.

The American Red Cross in Greater New York will assist in disaster relief management including referrals, distribution of emergency supplies, and applying for assistance as well as mental health counselling, according to NYC Emergency Management.

Meanwhile, NYC’s Department of Sanitation said it would continue to pick up storm debris at curb over the weekend including the Labor Day on Monday.

New York City and surrounding areas in the northeast of the US suffered from tornadoes and flash floods and lost the lives of near 50 people in total as the remnants of hurricane Ida hit the area on September 1.

The federal government has approved an emergency disaster declaration in 14 counties of New York State including New York City and is expected to provide up to $5 million in immediate federal funding to support response operations in the early stage.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has started damage assessment and would expedite the process with the support of local governments, said New York Governor Kathy Hochul.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced a climate-driven rain response plan involving more severe warnings, basement apartment evacuations and a 30-day extreme weather response task force to devise solutions quickly and expedite implementation.