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December 11, 2013

Local leaders planning for climate effects

(Continued)

Appelbaum was among a host of local officials from around the country who spoke at the climate forum, which served as a sounding board of sorts for the presidential task force.

Stephen Marks, an assistant administrator in Hoboken, N.J., said Superstorm Sandy showed that emergency responders need better training and equipment.

Hoboken was caught without special cars and trucks equipped for high water during Sandy, which caused extensive flooding to businesses, residences and Hoboken’s historic rail terminal. “We lost a lot of vehicles in the storm,” Marks said.

Cindy Lerner, mayor of Pinecrest, Fla. said one step the federal government can take is to account for climate effects in relicensing nuclear power plants such as the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station in South Florida. The plant, 25 miles south of Miami, was shut down for months following Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

“I’m horrified and terrified” at what could happen in a storm similar to the 2011 tsunami that destroyed the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan, Lerner said.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, a member of the presidential task force, said climate change demands immediate action. “We can’t wait for Congress to gets its act together,” he said. “We can’t wait and we won’t wait.”

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