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Extreme weather events put spotlight on climate change’s toll on US infrastructure

Extreme weather events put spotlight on climate change's toll on US infrastructure

Washington (CNN)America's infrastructure has taken a beating from extreme weather events in recent weeks spurred by climate change, raising concerns among officials that the nation's roads, bridges and even commercial flights can't stand the severe conditions.

With roads buckling in the Pacific Northwest, a deluge drenching a New York City subway station and fatal flooding across Europe, scientists say climate change is here and immediate action is needed. The country's crumbling infrastructure has commanded attention as the US has faced the unprecedented heat, drought and wildfires and the Biden administration has pushed costly proposals to address it.

"I think people see it, but I'm not sure they realize how much worse it's going to get and how quickly," Josh DeFlorio, head of climate resilience for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, told CNN.

On the West Coast, there is concern over the extreme heat that melted some of I-5 in Seattle last month and claimed the lives of hundreds in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. Western states have also faced an unprecedented, multi-year drought and as of Sunday, the US was grappling with 80 fires and complexes that had burned 1,157,976 acres so far, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has called for improving infrastructure that can endure the effects of climate change.
"The simple reality that we need to have more climate resilient infrastructure and we need to stop climate change from getting any worse," he said last week while in Oregon to promote President Joe Biden's infrastructure framework.

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