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Ida's record rain floods New York-area homes, subways; at least 44 dead

WorldSep 03, 2021 06:23AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gives remarks to the media in New York City, New York, U.S., August 3, 2021. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo 2/2

By Barbara Goldberg and Nathan Layne

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (Reuters) -Flash flooding killed at least 44 people in four Northeastern states as remnants of Hurricane Ida unleashed torrential rains that swept away cars, submerged New York City subway lines and grounded airline flights, officials said on Thursday.

Across large swaths https://graphics.reuters.com/STORM-IDA/RAINFALL/akvezzlbzpr of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, residents spent the day coping with water-logged basements, power outages, damaged roofs and calls for help from friends and family members stranded by flooding.

At least 13 people lost their lives in New York City, along with three in suburban Westchester County. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said in a tweet at least 23 people from that state had perished in the storm.

Among the fatalities, three people were found dead in a basement in the New York City borough of Queens, while four residents of Elizabeth, New Jersey, died at a public housing complex flooded by 8 feet (2.4 m) of water.

U.S. President Joe Biden declared that an emergency exists in the states of New Jersey and New York and ordered federal assistance to supplement local response efforts due to conditions resulting from the remnants of Hurricane Ida, the White House said late on Thursday.

Roadways were transformed into river-like torrents in minutes as the downpours struck on Wednesday night, trapping drivers in quickly rising floodwaters. Scores of vehicles were found abandoned on area roadways Thursday. In Somerset County, New Jersey, at least four motorists were killed, officials said.

A victim in Maplewood Township, New Jersey, was swept away while he was apparently trying to remove debris from storm drains in the area, police said.

"Sadly, more than a few folks have passed as a result of this," Murphy said at a briefing in Mullica Hill in the southern part of the state, where a tornado ripped apart several homes.

The National Weather Service confirmed two tree-snapping tornadoes also struck Maryland on Wednesday, one in Annapolis and another Baltimore. A 19-year-old was reported to have died after trying to rescue his mother from a flooded apartment in Rockville, Maryland, according to the Washington Post.

The damage came three days after Ida, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to strike the U.S. Gulf Coast, made landfall on Sunday in Louisiana, destroying https://www.reuters.com/world/us/louisiana-braces-powerful-hurricane-covid-19-taxes-hospitals-2021-08-29 entire communities.

But the loss of life in the Northeast dwarfed the confirmed storm-related death toll of nine in Louisiana.

In Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia, the Schuylkill River inundated hotels, warehouses and condominiums that line the river. Emergency squads were waiting for the waters to recede on Thursday before starting evacuations of possibly hundreds of people who live in nearby apartments, officials said.

Four people died in suburban Philadelphia as a result of the storm, according to county spokesperson Kelly Cofrancisco. A Connecticut state trooper perished after his cruiser was swept away in floodwaters in the town of Woodbury early Thursday, state police said.

Video footage on the Weather Channel showed flames billowing from a house in the riverfront town of Manville, New Jersey, where flooding prevented access by fire trucks. The house next door appeared to have burned down to the waterline on a street where parked cars were submerged.

RECORD-BREAKING RAIN

Ida's remnants brought 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) of rain to a swath of the Northeast from Philadelphia to Connecticut and set an hourly rainfall record of 3.15 inches for Manhattan, breaking one set by Tropical Storm Henri less than two weeks ago, the National Weather Service said.

New York officials blamed much of flooding on the high volume of rainfall in a short span of time, rather than the daily total, which was within predictions.

"Because of climate change, unfortunately, this is something we're going to have to deal with great regularity," said Kathy Hochul, New York's newly inaugurated governor.

The number of disasters, such as floods and heat waves, driven by climate change has increased fivefold over the past 50 years, according to a report https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/weather-disasters-killed-2-million-last-50-years-un-agency-says-2021-09-01 released earlier this week by the World Meteorological Organization, a U.N. agency.

The governors of New York and New Jersey urged residents to stay home as crews worked to clear roadways and restore service to subways and commuter rail lines serving millions of residents.

"Right now my street looks more like a lake," said Lucinda Mercer, 64, as she peered out her apartment window in Hoboken, New Jersey, just across the Hudson (NYSE:HUD) River from New York.

Subway services in New York City remained "extremely limited," transit officials said, and commuter rail services to the suburbs were largely suspended. About 370 flights were canceled at New Jersey's Newark Liberty Airport.

Mark Haley of Summit, New Jersey, said getting home after a 15-minute drive to a bowling alley to celebrate his daughter's sixth birthday on Wednesday night became a six-hour slog through floodwaters that frequently blocked his route.

"When we got out, it was a war zone," said Haley, 50, a fitness trainer. When he made it home, he found almost 2 feet of water in his basement.

Nearly 170,000 electricity customers were without power on Thursday in the four northeastern states that got the bulk of the rain overnight, mostly in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, according to PowerOutage.US, which gathers data from utility companies.

Ida's record rain floods New York-area homes, subways; at least 44 dead
 

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Comments (15)
Mark Stallone
Mark Stallone Sep 03, 2021 12:07AM ET
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At least they're most likely Democrats.. am I right?
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood Sep 02, 2021 9:55PM ET
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Wondering if New Yorkers wish they elected people who focused on legitimate issues that affect quality of life and commerce instead of blm and racism industry bs.. hmm..
Ethan Strong
Ethan Strong Sep 02, 2021 9:55PM ET
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Whats that Forest Plump?
Pezhman Parsi
Pezh Sep 02, 2021 9:22PM ET
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Great news for the market now the question is if we can reach 4600 (S&P) by the end of next week, or maybe sooner ?  Remember bad news means FED keeps buying and no tapping.. This is gonna be the longest Bull Market ever. I think FED should keep stimulating the market for another 3 years at least.
Pezhman Parsi
Pezh Sep 02, 2021 9:13PM ET
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Well this is good news for stocks, now we have flooding so FED needs to keep buying for another year and delay tapping...
Trevor Roberts
LimitUp Sep 02, 2021 8:26PM ET
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Cnbc reporter said this doesnt normally happen to us because we have drains. Lmao
Me comment
Me comment Sep 02, 2021 3:46PM ET
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People must not listen or watch weather news as they have been saying for days heavy rain and flooding was expected.
Rosh Jardine
RoshJardine Sep 02, 2021 2:49PM ET
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I smell stimulus is back lmfao
Iyarin Boonnum
Iyarin Boonnum Sep 02, 2021 12:40PM ET
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The end of the world is coming.
Totaltwo Sam
CryptoSam Sep 02, 2021 12:40PM ET
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The harvest almost ready
Alejandro Ca
Alejandro Ca Sep 02, 2021 11:06AM ET
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Leave it to this ridiculous comments section to turn an article about bad weather into a political debate. There's more to life than politics.
Ma Am
Ma Am Sep 02, 2021 11:06AM ET
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People are disgusting these days. The ability to have differing views is what makes the USA great. These are human lives being lost. Have compassion for people and get rid of the hate you’re holding against others over politics.
Whaling Trawler
Whaling Trawler Sep 02, 2021 6:27AM ET
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aww poor liberals. Hows your vaccine working out for ya?
andy matalobos
andy matalobos Sep 02, 2021 6:27AM ET
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Actually better than yours, at least keeps those vaccinated from dying, no like those poor educated Retrumpicans that are keeping the ICU's full of infested fools and dying like flies on the wall....
Joel Schwartz
Joel Schwartz Sep 02, 2021 6:27AM ET
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Man, at this rate, COVID is going to take out the whole GOP. I’m totally fine with it too.
Behnam Ahmadifar
Behnam Ahmadifar Sep 02, 2021 5:45AM ET
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Based on news any disaster will move market to upward. Pray for more disaster happen (powell said)
Ed Glass
EddieG Sep 02, 2021 4:45AM ET
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costs of not dealing with climate change is piling up.
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Sep 02, 2021 4:45AM ET
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Arctic waters just froze back up. no one is mentioning this. does not fit the agenda. nor are they talking about geoengineering and the extreme ice melting effect it has been having.
Scott Bailey
Scott Bailey Sep 02, 2021 4:45AM ET
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We have hurricanes every year…climate change, hogwash!
perplexed76 .
perplexed76 . Sep 02, 2021 4:07AM ET
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Don't know why but it's good for markets
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Sep 02, 2021 2:15AM ET
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The left were laughing at southern states a day ago. The same Ida now is in their beloved city. They run and cry now.
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Sep 02, 2021 2:07AM ET
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"The mayor urged people to not go outside" - From a medical police state to a climate police state.
 
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