Representative Malinowski Remarks Amid Devastation in NJ-07 from Tropical Storm Ida

September 2, 2021
Press Release

(Hillsborough, NJ) Today, Representative Tom Malinowski joined Governor Phil Murphy for a press conference to update his constituents on the devastating effects of Tropical Storm Ida and discuss ongoing response efforts. The press conference took place at Hillsborough Fire Company #2 in Hillsborough, NJ. Read his full remarks below or watch them here.

"Thank you, Governor.

And I just want to add my words of thanks to the incredibly brave volunteers of the Hillsborough Fire Department. Thank you, guys. You saved a lot of lives last night. And I don't think too many of us appreciate exactly how hard that was and how hard it is every time something like this happens.

And despite that courageous effort, there's been significant loss of life. Two people lost in Hillsborough, right here. Four deaths that we know of in Raritan Township, not too far from here. And many, many people missing.

Significant infrastructure damage as well. Just in my little town of East Amwell, we have four bridges that are going to have to be replaced, not just repaired. And multiply that by all the little towns and townships across Hunterdon, and Somerset, and Warren, and Morris counties and all the parts of the state that have been hit hard.

And this is not over yet. The floodwaters are receding here. But for our river towns in Hunterdon County, for example, they're bracing for the Delaware River, actually, continuing to rise. It's going to crest tonight—I've heard 9:00 or 10:00pm. So, we're not yet at the recovery phase. We're still dealing with a very, very serious situation for some of our fellow New Jerseyans.

We're going to need a lot of help. The Governor, as you know, has requested a federal emergency declaration. I'm confident that President Biden is going to give us that in a very short period of time. That is going to unlock all of the things that FEMA can do for us. And I'm going to fight for all of it: for help for our homeowners who have damage in their homes; for our small businesses; for people who lost their homes; for our municipalities and our county governments that are going to be dealing with the cleanup and with the repair of that infrastructure that has been lost.

So, we are going to do what it takes to make sure that we recover. But that's not enough, because we have to remember, this is a wakeup call. It's not our first wakeup call. Anybody who believes that it's too expensive to stop climate change, anyone who believes that we cannot afford to stop climate change, has got to wake up to the fact that we cannot afford not to.

This is going to happen again. And that's why this infrastructure bill that we are going to pass in the House, that President Biden is going to sign, has tens of billions of dollars, as the Governor suggested, to make sure that we are more resilient in preparing for and dealing with these events.

And even that is not enough. What this reminds us is that it is absolutely urgent. It is past time for this country to make the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. We have an opportunity to do that in Washington this year. If we miss that opportunity, we're going to have to get used to a lot more events like this in the state of New Jersey and around the country. That is absolutely unacceptable to me.

Thank you very, very much.”