NEW YORK (AP) — New York Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand pushed Sunday for $33 million in federal funding to upgrade weather warning systems across the state and the country, in response to the deadly, flooding rains dumped by the remnants of Hurricane Ida.
The Democratic senators said a web of 126 observation stations in New York, called a mesonet, needs upgrades and money for maintenance as climate change makes weather forecasting more difficult. They’re asking for $3 million in the next federal budget for the University at Albany, which hosts New York’s mesonet.
They’re also calling for a $30 million federal investment in the nation’s mesonet system.
At least 50 people from Virginia to Connecticut died as storm water from Ida’s remnants cascaded into people’s homes and engulfed automobiles, overwhelming urban drainage systems unable to handle so much rain in such a short time.
“What we saw with Hurricane Ida and what we see more and more is that storms change rapidly, varying in course, rainfall and other factors — and we need to keep up with all of it in real time,” Schumer said in a statement.