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Cars sit abandoned on the flooded Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx following a night of heavy wind and rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ida on Sept. 2. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

President Biden on Sunday approved disaster declarations for New York and New Jersey, directing federal aid to areas hit with deadly flooding last week as the remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through the region.

Why it matters: The move comes ahead of Biden's scheduled visit to the states on Tuesday to survey the destruction. The storm killed more than two dozen people in New Jersey and at least 13 in New York City, AP reports. Several others were killed in neighboring states.

  • The storm damaged over 1,200 homes and caused $50 million in damage to public infrastructure and property, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said, citing an initial assessment, per AP.

The big picture: The federal aid can go towards grants for temporary housing and home repairs, programs that help individuals and businesses recover from the disaster and loans to cover uninsured property losses, the White House said.

  • Aid is also available for the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Ida and hazard mitigation measures.
  • The counties designated for aid in New York include: Bronx, Kings, Queens, Richmond, and Westchester.
  • The counties designated for aid in New Jersey include: Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic, and Somerset.

Go deeper: New York region's historic floods send deadly climate change lesson

Go deeper

New York City to transfer 230 women and trans inmates out of Rikers Island jail

Demonstrators call for the closing of the Rikers Island prison as they protest outside the City Hall in New York, on Sept. 22. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

More than 200 women and transgender inmates will be transferred from New York City's Rikers Island jail complex and to state facilities, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: Rikers for years has been plagued by neglect and dysfunction, which has worsened during the coronavirus pandemic. Wednesday's announcement comes amid growing calls by activists and human rights groups to close the facility.

Oct 12, 2021 - Health

Judge rules New York must allow religious exemptions in health care worker vaccine mandate

Health care workers protest against being forced to get the COVID-19 vaccine outside the New York State Office Building in Hauppauge, New York. Photo: Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday RM via Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that New York state must allow for religious exemptions in its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers.

Why it matters: The move is a new obstacle in the course of Gov. Kathy M. Hochul’s effort to require inoculation for all health care workers.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.