Torrential rains, floods and tornadoes from storm Ida remnants claimed over 40 lives across the northeast of the United States on Wednesday and Thursday.
New York Governor Declares State of Emergency Over Storm Ida
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced on Thursday afternoon that 23 people died as a result of the storm, which made landfall in southern U.S. state Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane on Sunday.
At least 12 people died in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Among them, four women, three men and a 2-year-old boy died in the basements of residential homes in separate flooding incidents in Queens, said New York Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea.
Many commuters were stranded overnight in New York subway stations, some sleeping on benches with service suspended and no way to get to their destinations. Central Park on Wednesday recorded 3.15 inches of rainfall in just one hour, surpassing the previous recorded high of 1.94 inches in one hour during Tropical Storm Henri on Aug. 21.
There were three people reported killed in Pennsylvania, one in Maryland and one in Connecticut. Authorities also located the body of a Virginia resident missing in flooding earlier this week. In the Philadelphia area, some streets were swamped, delaying the city's rail and bus services and causing thousands of rescues.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency on Thursday about an hour after New York City Mayor de Blasio declared one due to what he called a "historic weather event... with record breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads."
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Thursday stressed the need to spend more on infrastructure and climate change given the extreme flooding in the New York metropolitan area.
"When you get two record rainfalls in a week, it's not just coincidence. Woe is us if we don't recognize these changes are due to climate change," said Schumer on Thursday morning.
Before moving to slam the U.S. Northeast, Ida had already wrecked widespread havoc in southern U.S. states Louisiana and Mississippi, leaving four people dead and hundreds of thousands of people with power outages.
Ida landed on Sunday, tying with 2020's Hurricane Laura and the Last Island Hurricane of 1856 as the strongest ever to hit Louisiana. It was downgraded to a tropical depression on Monday afternoon and moved inland with torrential rain.