A commitment to "re-imagine" New York State, that's the message coming out the State Capital today after a visit from Vice-President Joe Biden. Biden signaled the federal government will continue supporting New York's recovery from several natural disasters. Time Warner Cable News reporter Geoff Redick is standing by at the Capital for us.
Joe Biden and Governor Andrew Cuomo together outlined a plan to re-invent New York's infrastructure and emergency protections. They say New York City and Upstate were built upon, quote, "old realities" of severe weather and precaution.
And much like the Erie Canal once revolutionized commerce, now Biden and Cuomo believe they can revolutionize "preparedness."
They spoke of the need to re-imagine New York but on a grander scale, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Vice-President Joe Biden believe they can kick start an entirely new era of disaster preparedness.
"We have to rebuild in a way that you will not be victimized by a similar storm again," said Joe Biden, Vice-President of the United States.
After two consecutive tropical storms slammed communities Upstate, and Superstorm Sandy ripped apart New York City. Cuomo and Biden declared the status quo of preparedness, no longer relevant.
"I have been Governor for three years. In those three years, there have been nine federally-declared disasters, which is an unprecedented experience for this state," said Governor Cuomo.
So a presentation Tuesday from Cuomo outlined a 16-billion dollar plan to re-imagine disaster preparedness, with ideas like flood caps for subways, elevating critical power stations above flood levels, and creating so-called "micro-grids," to keep the power on at community centers and storm shelters.
The plan also includes 100 major bridge replacements, designated evacuation routes equipped with emergency fuel supplies and a 100,000 person training program to create a civilian first responder corps.
In total, there are 1,000 separate projects listed to reinforce the state... a tally that Biden also believes can reinforce the economy.
"Just the rebuilding that has gone on so far: 200,000 new jobs. Decent jobs, decent jobs you can raise a middle-class family on, where you're not being paid minimum wage, have occurred already, in rebuilding just here in New York," said Joe Biden, Vice-President of the United States.
All driven by a man Biden says, can lead an entire nation, "You're not just leading in New York, you're leading the country. And I think a lot of governors and a lot of folks can learn an awful lot from what they see, and what you do here."
It's worth noting that last bit there: Joe Biden spent two or three minutes just singing Andrew Cuomo's praises, and promoting him on a nationwide scale. That's something that's going to play right into the never-ending speculation that Andrew Cuomo has eventual designs on the White House.
Cuomo himself made no acknowledgement or mention of it, but already these two are popping up together on the internet as a possible early ticket in the 2016 presidential race.
We'll have to keep an eye on where it all goes from here.
VIEW THE FULL PRESS CONFERENCE
Albany/HV: Biden, Cuomo announce infrastructure investments
Time Warner Cable video customers:
Sign in with your TWC ID to access our video clips.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.