New York City and New Jersey suffered at least nine deaths as a result of the remnants of Hurricane Ida as it brought torrential rains to the Northeast on Wednesday night.
Several people who lived in illegally-constructed basement apartments in the city, where rents are astronomical, were killed by floodwaters that poured into their living spaces.
Once again, much like what happened when Hurricane Sandy years ago hit the same area, subways were flooded, with water shooting up in fountains from the subway drains, bringing a halt to much of public transit in the city.
What was left of Hurricane Ida, although just a tropical depression, spun off tornadoes in southern New Jersey that leveled homes. In Passaic, New Jersey, the Passaic River overtopped its banks and fish were seen flopping in city streets.
As of Thursday morning, some drivers are still reportedly stranded after being stopped by floodwaters on Wednesday night, and more than 200,000 homes in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are still without power.
More than six inches of rain fell on Wednesday over just a few hours, causing emergency responders to set out in boats to rescuing people from car rooftops of cars and their flooded homes. Hundreds of people who were on trains and subways were able to be safely evacuated.
Nine inches of rain in urban areas of the Northeast as a result of Hurricane Ida
Most of the city’s subway lines and commuter trains are still not functional. Rescues are ongoing and authorities fear there will be additional victims discovered.
In New York City alone victims ranged in age from a 2-year-old boy to an 86-year-old woman, according to police authorities.
A record 3.15 inches of rain fell in Central Park in just one hour, breaking the record set just a few days prior by Tropical Storm Henri.
As much as nine inches of rain fell over several hours over much of the Northeast. The National Weather Service declared a flash flood emergency in New York City for the first time in history.
The New York Times reported that in Bergen County, New Jersey, County Executive James Tedesco, who is a former firefighter, stated on Thursday morning, “We have not complete devastation but close to it. This is as bad as I’ve ever seen it.”
The storm played out across Maine before gathering a great deal of moisture once again from the Gulf of Maine, and headed northeast, barreling into New Brunswick, Canada late on Thursday morning.