“It brings energy, hope. These people need hope, ”said Sergio Bertoni, 61, pointing to the houses of his neighbors. “The president is the only person who can help right now.”
Mr Bertoni, a bouncer who works in Manhattan, said he has sustained well over $ 40,000 in loss and damage to his home since 2001. The flood pressure on the block was so high last week that it broke through the basement door and tumbled through, leaving appliances and electronics like computers, a washer, dryer, television, and refrigerator in ruins.
“We hope that everything that can come through FEMA comes here,” said Mr Bertoni’s 27-year-old daughter, Xenia Bertoni, who worked as a manager in a physiotherapy practice until her mother fell ill with Covid last year. She quit her job to take care of her mother, who was in a coma for almost five months, and left the family one less income.
For Mr. Bertoni, who moved to the United States from his native Argentina in 1989, he hopes that Mr. Biden’s presence will encourage the Federal Emergency Management Agency to give as much money as possible.
“My dream was to become an American,” he says. “My spirit is in this land. America has to take care of its people. “
On Monday, New York and New Jersey governors announced they had received federal aid from the Biden administration, which declared areas in both states major disaster areas following torrential rains and catastrophic floods last week.
Funding, which comes from FEMA, means those who were displaced from their homes by the storm in the approved counties, including those without insurance, are eligible for repair money. It will also include legal services, unemployment assistance and crisis counseling, officials from both states said.