President Obama Requests $5.1 Billion More for Disaster Relief

Posted September 9th, 2011 at 7:45 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama has asked Congress to approve $5.1 billion in additional disaster relief after Hurricane Irene and other extreme weather have battered wide regions of the United States.

In a letter Friday to the top-ranking congressman, House Speaker John Boehner, President Obama said the additional funding was to be used through the end of the next fiscal year.

Mr. Obama said the money is necessary to respond to “urgent and essential” needs.

He said $1.5 billion would be used to rebuild after Hurricane Irene caused massive floods and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of homes across the densely populated east coast in August. The rest of the money would be available for other disaster relief efforts.

The National Climatic Data Center said earlier this week the U.S. has in 2011 already suffered through a record-breaking 10 climate-related disasters, each causing over $1 billion in economic damage. The year's events include flooding, drought, blizzards, and tornadoes.

Many scientists attribute the increased natural disasters to global warming, saying a warmer atmosphere is more likely to power dangerous storms.