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Harris announces resiliency money for South Florida

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MARSHA HALPER
/
Miami Herald

Vice President Kamala Harris announced Monday that $50 million is headed to South Florida to help protect low-lying neighborhoods from sea-level rise and storm surge.

Harris said the money is part of addressing a growing “climate crisis,” with Kentucky in recent days hit by deadly flooding and California battling wildfires.

“The climate crisis is here. It has arrived. And we are experiencing it in real time," Harris said during an appearance at Florida International University. "And we have the ability, dare I say the responsibility, to take urgent action to protect the people of our nation. And, again, we all have a role to play. So, Miami, I know that you know the urgency of this moment. You are living it every day.”

The money will come from more than $1 billion available through Federal Emergency Management Agency grants for resiliency projects across the country.

“All of these projects will create good jobs and good union jobs in our community,” Harris said. “And these projects will also strengthen our economy by preventing billions of dollars of damage from extreme weather.”

Harris, who earlier visited the National Hurricane Center in Miami, said climate-change effects aren’t felt equally across all communities, with heat waves posing a greater threat to people who do not have air conditioning or who work in warehouses or on farms, while emergency evacuations are often more difficult for people with disabilities.

Harris said low-income and rural communities often don’t have money to invest in resiliency projects or to rebuild after disasters.