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Friday, September 17, 2021

New York City flooding Highlights: At least 49 dead after floodwaters from Ida’s remnants swamp 6 US states

New York City flooding Highlights: Dozens have died in six Eastern states — Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia — after Hurricane Ida brought unprecedented rainfall to some areas.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 3, 2021 10:54:11 pm
Onlookers in the Bronx survey the floodwaters inundating Interstate Highway 87. The New York area awoke to a flood-ravaged and largely paralyzed landscape on Thursday. (Photo: The New York Times)

New York City flooding Highlights: The death toll from flooding after the remnants of Hurricane Ida pummeled cities in the East rose sharply to 49 on Thursday after New Jersey announced at least 23 people had died there.

Dozens have died in six Eastern states — Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia — after the storm brought unprecedented rainfall to some areas. The death toll included a state trooper in Connecticut who was swept away as he responded to a missing person’s call.

The remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped ‘historic rain’ over New York City as basement apartments suddenly filled with water and freeways and boulevards turned into rivers, submerging cars.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio described the flooding and weather on Wednesday night as a “historic weather event,” and the National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency in New York City for the first time.

Photos and Videos on social media showed water gushing out of New York City subway and city streets. Other videos showed vehicles submerged up to their windows on major roadways in and around the city and garbage bobbing down the streets.

Live Blog

Hurrican Ida, New York City flooding Highlights: Subways, houses flooded; New York Mayor declares emergency; Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia ravaged by floods; Follow the latest news and live updates here:

22:54 (IST)03 Sep 2021
Death toll from Hurricane Ida rises to 49

Police went door to door in search of more possible victims and drew up lists of the missing as the death toll rose to 49 on Friday in the catastrophic flooding set off across the Northeast by the remnants of Hurricane Ida.

The disaster underscored with heartbreaking clarity how vulnerable the US is to the extreme weather that climate change is bringing.

More than three days after the hurricane blew ashore in Louisiana, the storm’s rainy remains hit the Northeast with surprising fury on Wednesday and Thursday, submerging cars, swamping subway stations and basement apartments and drowning scores of people in five states. Read the full report here.

16:41 (IST)03 Sep 2021
New York: How the storm turned basement apartments into death traps

For about a year, Roberto Bravo lived in a windowless bedroom in a Brooklyn house owned by his brother, a dark basement unit he tried to cheer up with personal mementoes: a photo of himself in a tuxedo surrounded by friends, and a flag of Ecuador, his home country, that he hung on the wall.

On Wednesday night, the apartment turned into a death trap as water gushed into his unit and quickly overwhelmed him.

He screamed for help — “Ayúdame por favor”, “Please help me” — as the water climbed to the ceiling. He never made it out. Read the full NYT report here.

14:26 (IST)03 Sep 2021
Louisiana to probe death of 4 nursing home residents

Louisiana officials launched an investigation into the deaths of four nursing home residents who had been evacuated to a warehouse ahead of Hurricane Ida, as state residents struggling in the wake of the storm sought financial relief and other help amid small signs of recovery. The nursing home residents who died were among hundreds of people from seven nursing homes taken to the warehouse in Independence, where conditions became unhealthy and unsafe after the hurricane struck on Sunday, state health officials said. A coroner classified three of the deaths as storm-related. (AP)

13:52 (IST)03 Sep 2021
Biden to visit hard-hit Louisiana to see damage from Hurricane Ida

US President Joe Biden will travel to Louisiana on Friday to get a first-hand look at the destruction wrought by Hurricane Ida, the monster storm that devastated the southern portion of the state and left 1 million people statewide without power.

Biden is to meet Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and local officials about the hurricane, which is providing the president with a tough test just after the chaotic withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. Hurricane Ida struck the Gulf coast last weekend and carved a northern path through the eastern United States, culminating with torrential rains and widespread flooding in New York, New Jersey and surrounding areas on Wednesday. The fifth most powerful hurricane to strike the United States came ashore in southern Louisiana on Sunday, knocking out power for more than a million customers and water for another 600,000 people, creating miserable conditions for the afflicted who are also enduring suffocating heat and humidity. At least nine deaths were reported in Lousiana, with another 44 killed as flash flooding and tornadoes hit the Northeast on Wednesday night. (Reuters)

13:42 (IST)03 Sep 2021
Surveillance aircraft sent to possible oil spill reported in wake of Ida

The US Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday it has dispatched a surveillance aircraft to an area in Louisiana hard hit by Hurricane Ida that includes a refinery where an apparent oil spill has been reported.

The aircraft dispatched from Texas will gather data on the Phillips 66 refinery and other priority sites, an EPA spokesman told Reuters. "EPA's ASPECT aircraft – the Agency's airborne real-time chemical and radiological detection, infrared and photographic imagery platform – has been activated to support the state of Louisiana," the spokesman said. Phillips said earlier that flooding had occurred at its Alliance Refinery and a sheen of unknown origin in some flooded areas of the refinery had been discovered. "At this time, the sheen appears to be secured and contained within refinery grounds. Clean-up crews are on site. The incident was reported to the appropriate regulatory agencies upon discovery", the company said. (Reuters)

12:11 (IST)03 Sep 2021
Trapped in basements and cars, they lost their lives in savage storm

At 9:30 pm on Wednesday, Mingma Sherpa, who lived in a basement apartment in Queens with her husband and toddler son, frantically called her upstairs neighbour for help. “The water is coming in right now,” Choi Sledge, the neighbour, said, recalling Sherpa’s desperation. “Get out! Get to the third floor!” Sledge said she screamed into the phone.

But the family did not come upstairs. Sledge called them again. The call was brief. “The last thing I hear from them is, ‘The water coming in from the window.’ And that was it,” Sledge said Thursday. All three of her neighbours died that night — Sherpa, her husband, Lobsang Lama, and their little boy whom people called Ang. They drowned in a storm that pounded down the wettest hour in New York City history, according to the National Weather Service, which declared a flash flood emergency — the first-ever for the city — just at the time of Sherpa’s phone call. Read More

11:26 (IST)03 Sep 2021
Biden message to battered Gulf Coast: 'We are here for you'

President Joe Biden is calling for greater public resolve to confront climate change and help the nation deal with the fierce storms flooding and wildfires that have beset the country as he makes a sojourn to hurricanebattered Louisiana on Friday

“My message to everyone affected is we’re all in this together.” Biden said in a speech Thursday at the White House where he addressed the multiple natural disasters that have unfolded this week “The nation is here to help. Trips to natural disaster scenes have long been a feature of the US presidency. It’s a moment to show compassion and deliver aid in ways that can shape the public’s perception of White House leadership,” he added. Biden was scheduled to meet with Louisianas Democratic governor John Bel Edwards and other local officials and tour a neighborhood in LaPlace a community between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain that was inundated by storm surge flooding that left people trapped in attics. (AP)

10:50 (IST)03 Sep 2021
New York is particularly vulnerable to extreme storms. Here’s why

Record-breaking rainfall and flooding paralyzed New York City on Wednesday, exposing the city’s vulnerability to heavy downpours that are becoming increasingly more severe with global warming.

As the remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through the New York area, Central Park recorded 7.19 inches of rain, nearly double the previous record set in 1927 for the same date, according to the National Weather Service. New York City issued its first-ever flash flood emergency alert as furious, wind-driven rains swamped the subway system and led to at least eight deaths. Read More

09:53 (IST)03 Sep 2021
Biden calls emergency in New York over heavy rain, floods

US President Joe Biden declared an emergency in New York state, ordering federal aid to help regional responders tackle devastation left by a fading Hurricane Ida, the White House said in a statement on Thursday. Flash flooding killed at least 44 people in four northeastern states including New York as hurricane remnants unleashed torrential rains.

09:07 (IST)03 Sep 2021
United Airlines resumes flights at Newark, NJ airport after flooding

United Airlines on Thursday afternoon resumed operations at Newark Liberty International airport in New Jersey after disruptions caused by flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Ida.The impact of the storm was still being felt in the northeastern United States as Amtrak and other rail services were canceled.United, the largest carrier at the New York area airport, had canceled more than 200 flights nationwide, according to Flightaware, an aviation website.Rival American Airlines has also experienced delays and cancellations at the Newark airport, while Delta Air Lines said it has seen roughly 80 cancellations across New York City area airports. (Reuters)

08:34 (IST)03 Sep 2021
NYPD rescues more than 800 passengers from city's subways

More than 800 passengers were rescued from across the New York City's subway system due to last night's storm, New York Police Department Chief Rodney Harrison said Thursday.

Along with the 835 passengers rescued, the NYPD made 69 water rescues and 166 non-water rescues related to the remnants of Hurricane Ida, Harrison said. Twenty of the 69 water rescues happened in Queens, and 18 of the 20 Queens rescues occurred at the ongoing US Open tennis tournament, Harrison said.

08:20 (IST)03 Sep 2021
New Jersey Governor requests major disaster declaration from Biden

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has requested a major disaster declaration from President Biden, citing the severity of Hurricane Ida. “This support will help us meet the urgent needs of our residents and businesses in the wake of the this unprecedented disaster,” Murphy tweeted, adding he was hopeful the request would be considered quickly.

In a letter to Biden, Murphy cited the estimated 8 to 10 inches of rain that fell in central New Jersey in mere hours, noting that was more than a month’s worth of rain at one time. He also noted how the storm overwhelmed counties along the Delaware River and inland waterways, among other damage and destruction from Ida.

07:59 (IST)03 Sep 2021
New York Governor: ‘It's been a hard day for New Yorkers’

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said it’s been heartbreaking being in New York City after the impact of Hurricane Ida. “It’s been a hard day for New Yorkers, to not just to deal with the weather but to wake up and know that we lost some of our fellow citizens, simply because they weren’t able to get out of their car, weren’t able to get out of their home,” Hochul said.

Hochul reiterated her need to do a full assessment of what led to the city’s response to the storm. “Once we get our feel assessment done, I’m going to be demanding answers,” Hochul said. “I want to know who knew what when and what could have been done differently -- because New Yorkers deserve to know what we’re doing to learn from this event and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

07:54 (IST)03 Sep 2021
More than 40 killed in US north-east amid sudden heavy rains and flooding

The death toll from floods and tornadoes in the US north-east rose past 40 on Thursday, as authorities continued to digest the full impact of the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Ida struck Louisiana last Sunday, knocking out power to the city of New Orleans and causing deaths in that state and Mississippi.

The National Hurricane Center had warned since Tuesday of the potential for “significant and life-threatening flash flooding” and major river flooding in the mid-Atlantic and New England. The storm struck the region on Wednesday night. Late on Thursday afternoon, after a day of rescue work and disruption to transportation and power, the governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, said he was “saddened to report that, as of right now, at least 23 New Jerseyans have lost their life to this storm.

20:45 (IST)02 Sep 2021
Destruction and paralysis left by Hurricane Ida 

The New York area awoke to a flood-ravaged and largely paralyzed landscape Thursday, after record-shattering rains brought by the remnants of Hurricane Ida left a trail of death and damage across several states, shut down transit and exposed anew the region’s vulnerability to a changed climate.

At least 14 people died as waters rose in basements. A tornado in southern New Jersey levelled a stretch of houses. Some drivers have reportedly been stranded since Wednesday night, more than 200,000 homes in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania remain without power, and states of emergency have been declared across the region. Read the full NYT report here.

Cars are stuck in flood waters in an underpass on Queens Boulevard in New York early on Thursday morning, Sept. 2, 2021. (Dakota Santiago/The New York Times)
20:36 (IST)02 Sep 2021
Five more people found dead in New Jersey; toll mounts to 14

Five more people were found dead in New Jersey, bringing the death toll in the region from Wednesday’s floods to 14. According to the New York Times, the dead in NYC ranged in age from a 2-year-old boy to an 86-year-old woman, the police said. Some drowned in basement apartments in Queens, where a system of makeshift and mostly illegally converted living spaces has sprung up.

20:20 (IST)02 Sep 2021
Remnants of Hurricane Ida hit US Open

Even a retractable roof at the US Open was no match for the heavy rain and wind as the remnants of Hurricane Ida carried to Flushing Meadows, knocking down tree limbs and causing flooding around the tournament grounds, while forcing a match to shift from one court to another after a delay of two and half hours.

“Crazy weather,” was the way 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman summed things up after he managed to beat 2017 runner-up Kevin Anderson 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-4 in their interrupted contest to reach the third round as Wednesday became Thursday. Read the full report here.

19:49 (IST)02 Sep 2021
Recovery efforts underway

Recovery efforts were underway early on Thursday to bring back transportation systems serving millions of residents in the densely populated metropolitan area. According to Reuters, New York Governor Kathy Hochul urged commuters to stay home from work and pleaded for patience to "give us some time to have complete restoration of the trains" after service was knocked out in much of the area, leaving many riders stranded overnight.

Local residents pull a disabled vehicle from floodwaters in Mamaroneck, New York. (Reuters)
19:35 (IST)02 Sep 2021
Visuals from New York City

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio described the flooding and weather on Wednesday night as a "historic weather event," and the National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency in New York City for the first time. Click here to see visuals from the city.

Spectators walk through flooded paths near Louis Armstrong Stadium on day 3 of the 2021 US Open tennis tournament, New York. (Reuters)
A car navigates past abandoned cars on a flooded highway in the Queens borough of New York City, US, September 2, 2021. (Reuters)
19:24 (IST)02 Sep 2021
Death toll mounts to 9 in New York, New Jersey

Flooding killed at least nine people, swept away cars, submerged subway lines and grounded flights in New York and New Jersey as the remnants of Hurricane Ida brought torrential rains to the area, Reuters reported. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio described the flooding and weather on Wednesday night as a "historic weather event," and the National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency in New York City for the first time.

Cars navigate a flooded highway in the Queens borough of New York City. (Reuters)

The town of Lafitte remained inundated after Hurricane Ida struck Louisiana, on Wednesday (Photo: The New York Times)

The remnants of Hurricane Ida brought heavy winds, drenching rains and at least one tornado on Wednesday as the storm battered Pennsylvania and New Jersey, collapsing the roof of a US Postal Service building and threatening to overrun a dam on the way.

The National Weather Service confirmed at least one tornado and social media posts showed homes reduced to rubble in Mullica Hill, a southern New Jersey county just outside Philadelphia. Other video showed water rushing through Newark Liberty International Airport as the storm moved into New York on Wednesday night.

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