New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Friday suggested invoking travel bans ahead of future “extreme weather” in his city.
De Blasio told CNN’s “New Day” that since “extreme weather is now tragically the norm” as a result of climate change, travel bans and evacuations are likely to be utilized to prevent flooding similar to what New York City has seen this week.
“I think it’s a different ball game now, a different strategy,” de Blasio emphasized. “Instead of assuming, as we have in the past — for example, a travel ban was a very, very rare thing in the past. The few times I’ve used that when we were expecting massive blizzards. But now, seeing what happened on Wednesday, a travel ban is the kind of thing I want to introduce into the equation early in each storm as a possibility, and then pull the trigger if I have to and literally tell people, ‘Off the streets, out of the subways, clear the way.'”
“Also, evacuation,” he added. “Evacuation, John, is something we only thought of in the worst kind of events, particularly hurricanes in coastal areas. But what we saw in some of these basement apartments on Wednesday was people needed to be evacuated who were far away from the coast because of the sheer intensity and speed, the amount of rain that came in such a brief period of time. We’re going to need to now have the ability to send police, fire, etc., out to go and evacuate people in places we never would have imagined in the past. And we’ll have to tell people, ‘Prepare to be evacuated.’ I’m actually amazed we’re at this point, honestly, but given what’s happened with climate change, given the fact that the extreme weather is now tragically the norm, we’re going to have to be much more aggressive with these kinds of tools.”
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