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In Sept. 29, Gabriel Fontes was on his way to teach 10th grade English when he was met with a river of sewage-infested stormwater at an intersection outside his school. Students and staff at Leaders High School in South Brooklyn were forced to wade through waves of knee-high dirty water to make it into the building.

“The water was brackish and things were floating in it,” Fontes recalled. “I didn’t think the conditions were safe so I spent the morning helping students get home.”

“Hurricane Sandy cost the city $19 billion in damages. And we know that climate change disasters like that are happening more frequently,” said Jenille Scott, climate director at the environmental group ALIGN. “So if we’re not investing in upgrading our schools and developing that resilience to expected storms now, we will end up spending more money to fix the damage later.”

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