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More Than 45 Dead in Flooding

23 victims were in New Jersey, 12 in New York City
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 2, 2021 10:30 AM CDT
Updated Sep 2, 2021 3:00 PM CDT
Apartment Complex Deaths Raise Flood Toll to 14
Vehicles are under water during flooding in Philadelphia Thursday in the aftermath of downpours and high winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ida.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Newser) – A stunned East Coast faced a rising death toll, surging rivers, tornado damage, and continuing calls for rescue Thursday after the remnants of Hurricane Ida walloped the region with record-breaking rain, drowning more than two dozen people in their homes and cars, per the AP. In a region that had been warned about potentially deadly flash flooding but hadn't braced for such a blow from the no-longer-hurricane, the storm killed at least 45 people from Maryland to Connecticut on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

  • At least 12 people died in New York City, police said, one of them in a car and 11 in flooded basement apartments that often serve as relatively affordable homes in one of the nation’s most expensive housing markets.
  • Officials said at least 23 died in New Jersey and three in Pennsylvania's suburban Montgomery County, per the AP; one was killed by a falling tree, one drowned in a car, and another in a home.

story continues below

  • In Queens, water rapidly filled Deborah Torres' first-floor apartment to her knees as her landlord frantically urged her neighbors below—who included a baby—to get out, she said. But the water rushed in so strongly that she surmised they weren't able to open the door. The three residents died. “I have no words," she said. “How can something like this happen?”
  • The storm ultimately dumped over 9 inches of rain in parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and nearly as much on New York City’s Staten Island.
  • In Washington, President Biden assured Northeast residents that federal first responders were on the ground to help clean up after the latest disaster in two weeks of wild weather across the US. Wildfires are threatening Lake Tahoe, and Ida struck Louisiana as the fifth-strongest storm to ever hit the US mainland, leaving 1 million people without power, maybe for weeks.
(Read more flooding stories.)

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