After Ida’s remnants swept through the East Coast, killing at least 48 people, New York’s mayor said the heavy rains should cause everyone to “act very differently,” including raising evacuation expectations.
With this storm causing so much flash flooding inland, he said he’d consider being more aggressive in the future with pre-storm evacuations and orders to clear streets and subways, which he’d normally reserve for hurricanes or massive blizzards.
The storm, which was then the remnants of a tropical depression, caused deadly flooding from Virginia to New England, but especially from metro Philadelphia to New Jersey and southern New York, on Wednesday. This came after Ida wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane on Sunday.
Many of those killed in the East died in flooded homes, including many in flooded basements, or while being overtaken by water inside or outside their vehicles.
At least 25 people were killed in New Jersey, and 16 were killed in New York state alone. The White House announced late Thursday that President Joe Biden had approved an emergency declaration for those two states.
The storm was also responsible for four deaths in Pennsylvania, as well as one each in Maryland, Connecticut, and Virginia. As of Friday morning, approximately 4.5 million people in the Northeast were still under flood warnings, with the majority of them in northeastern New Jersey, as rainwater flows into larger creeks, streams, and rivers. Some rivers in the Northeast are expected to remain above flood stage into the weekend, though many have already begun to recede.
Bhagwandin’s home was severely damaged by the flood, but her greatest heartbreak was the loss of her neighbors, a mother and a son, she said.
Sahadeo, Bhagwandin’s husband, stated that their neighborhood has previously experienced flooding. And, while officials may step in during times of disaster, the residents of the area require more action. “We need a lot of help in this neighborhood, and we’ve been neglected for a long time. I moved here in 2003, and from 2003 to 2021, we’ve had flooding, with nothing done to stop it “According to Sahadeo Bhagwandin. “We finished several projects in this block, but it isn’t resolving the problem we’re having.”
However, fighting back against climate change is an important part of ensuring that it does not happen again, according to Hochul. She advocated for the state to continue its transition to carbon-neutral energy.
“We don’t have a choice, my friends; the future we discussed in dire terms is now. It’s happening, we’re losing lives, we’re losing property, and we can’t keep going down this road.” According to the National Weather Service, at least eight tornadoes were confirmed in the Northeast on Wednesday: four in Pennsylvania, three in New Jersey, and one in southeast Massachusetts.
According to police Lt. David Marrow, a tornado destroyed or severely damaged 25 homes in the southern New Jersey community of Mullica Hill. The tornado was rated an EF-3 by the weather service, with winds of 150 mph.
Hundreds of trees were felled, and power was out for a third of the township, according to Marrow.
As terrifying as the tornadoes were, none of the storm deaths in the state were caused by them, according to Murphy, who believes residents took flood warnings less seriously than tornado warnings. The danger of floodwaters was evident in New York City, where the police department performed 69 water rescues and 166 non-water rescues, according to Police Chief Rodney Harrison.
According to Harrison, more than 800 subway riders were evacuated on Thursday. According to the New York City Emergency Management Department, another 500 New Yorkers were rescued from flooded roadways, buildings, and subway stations.
Rosa Amonte, a New York bus driver, became an overnight viral sensation after driving passengers to safety despite 3 to 4 feet of water filling the bus.