Hochul, de Blasio say more could have been done to prevent ‘horrific’ Ida damage: ‘This is not okay’

Gov. Hochul and Mayor de Blasio acknowledged Thursday that more could have been done to prevent the devastation wrought in the city by remnants of Hurricane Ida, referencing earlier subway closures and more assertive public messaging as potential remedies that weren’t employed.

Load Error The governor and mayor made the unusually candid admissions while appearing with a cadre of other elected leaders at a press conference in Jamaica, Queens, as several parts of the five boroughs remained flooded because of torrential downpours caused overnight by the deadly storm.

Hochul said she spoke to President Biden earlier in the day and that he assured her the federal government is preparing a disaster declaration for the Empire State that will free up resources for New Yorkers in need. “We’ll get them the resources from the federal government once they get that declaration and let them know we’re not satisfied, either. This is not okay with any of us,” Hochul said.

The governor said her administration did not anticipate that “the heavens would literally open up and bring Niagra Falls level water to the streets of New York.” “Could that have been anticipated? I want to find out,” she said.

Of the subway system, many parts of which flooded rapidly once Ida barreled in, Hochul said she’s looking into why the Metropolitan Transportation Authority did not close stations earlier. “I want to assess why we don’t stop new passengers from going down the stairs into them. It’s all about evacuation, not bringing new people into the system at the time,” she said.

De Blasio, whose administration issued a travel advisory in anticipation of Ida, but did not prepare evacuation plans or take other more serious precautions, said he was also caught off guard by the storm, noting that forecasts initially predicted three to six inches of rain over the course of the whole day Wednesday. “That turned into the biggest single hour of rainfall in New York City history with almost no warning. So now we got to change the ground rules,” he said. “From now on, what I think we do is tell New Yorkers to expect the very, very worst.

It may sound alarmist at times, but unfortunately it’s been proven by nature.”

This story will be updated

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