Representative Alexandria Osasio-Cortez got a first-hand look at the extensive damage Ida caused at a Bronx cafe.
Hansel Blandino, owner of Miles Cafe Coffee Bar in Throgs Neck, said water appeared to have gushed out from all corners of his cafe’s basement during Wednesday’s storm. A few days later, he and other nearby businesses are still cleaning.
“I don’t know the severity of the electrical damage and whether it’s localized or something bigger is going on up there,” Blandino says.
He gave Rep Ocasio-Cortez a first-hand look at the damaged ceiling and floors caused by the excessive amount of rain.
The MP said lawmakers were looking for ways to help store owners recover from the storm, especially those who are still struggling to recover from the pandemic.
“The National Flood Insurance Program is something that we are working on, the Build It Back Better is currently in Congress,” said Representative Ocasio-Cortez. “We are trying to expand it so that the national flood insurance program can cover homeowners and tenants as well.”
Marjorie Velazquez, the Democratic candidate for District 17 city council, says more conversations need to take place on climate change.
“I have had conversations with Senator Schumer about how we can strengthen this and other ways within a community that can support the neighbors,” she said.
Blandino, like many store owners, is now working with his insurance company to recoup losses caused by the storm.