More than 20 dead after Ida’s remains slammed northeast

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Update: 11:52 a.m.

A stunned U.S. east coast woke up on Thursday with rising death tolls, river flooding and destruction after the remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through the region with record-breaking rains, filling water with water. low apartments and turning the roads into canals swallowing cars.

In an area that had been warned of potentially fatal flash floods but had not prepared for such a hit from the hurricane, the storm killed at least 22 people from Maryland to New York on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.

Nine people have died in New York City, police said, including one in a car and eight in flooded basement apartments that often serve as relatively affordable housing for low-income people. Authorities said at least eight people have died in New Jersey and three in Montgomery County, a suburb of Pennsylvania; one was killed by a fall from a tree, another drowned in a car and another in a house. A state soldier on duty in Connecticut was whisked away in his patrol car and later taken to hospital, state police and local authorities have said.

In New York City, Deborah Torres said water quickly filled her knee-deep Queens first-floor apartment as her landlord frantically urged her downstairs neighbors to come out, she said. But the water rushed in so hard that she assumed they weren’t able to open the door.

“I have no words,” she said. “How could something like that happen? And the worst part is there’s a family down there with a baby, and they couldn’t get out.”

Flood waters surround vehicles following heavy rains on a freeway in Brooklyn, New York, early Thursday, as flash flooding and record-breaking rainfall from the remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through the area.

Ed Jones | AFP via Getty Images

Ida’s remnants lost most of the storm’s winds but retained their soggy core, then merged with a more traditional storm front and let pouring rain down the Interstate 95 corridor, the meteorologists. The situation has followed hurricanes before, but experts said it was slightly exacerbated by climate change – warmer air traps more rain – and the urban setting, where the expansive pavement prevents water from sinking. infiltrate into the ground.

The National Hurricane Center had warned since Tuesday of the potential for “significant and potentially fatal flash floods” and moderate and major river flooding in the Mid-Atlantic and New England.

Yet New York Governor Kathy Hochul and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the force of the storm took them by surprise.

“We didn’t know that between 8:50 p.m. and 9:50 p.m. last night the skies would literally open up and bring the water level of Niagara Falls to the streets of New York,” said Hochul, a Democrat who became governor this week. last. after the resignation of former Governor Andrew Cuomo.

A person makes his way through the rain.

A person makes his way through the precipitation of the remnants of Hurricane Ida on Wednesday in the Bronx neighborhood of New York.

David Dee Delgado | Getty Images

De Blasio said he received a forecast of 3-6 inches of rain during the day on Wednesday. The city’s central park eventually grew to 3.15 inches in an hour of deluge, surpassing the previous record of 1.94 inches in one hour during Tropical Storm Henri on August 21.

Water spilled into the subway tunnels, trapping at least 17 trains and forcing the cancellation of the service overnight and early in the morning. Videos online showed runners standing on seats in cars filled with water. All of the runners were safely evacuated, officials said.

FDR Drive in Manhattan and the Bronx River Parkway were underwater during the storm. Garbage was floating in the water as it rushed through the streets. Some metro and train services resumed Thursday morning.

Among other reported deaths in New York City, a 48-year-old woman and a 66-year-old man died after being found in separate residences, and a 43-year-old woman and 22-year-old man both died after being found in a house. Causes of death and identifications were pending.

The fierce storm also spawned tornadoes, including one that tore houses apart and toppled silos in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, south of Philadelphia.

Record-breaking flooding along the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania inundated homes and commercial buildings, flooded highways, submerged cars and disrupted rail service in the Philadelphia area. In a tweet, city officials on Thursday predicted “historic flooding” as river levels continue to rise. The riverside community of Manayunk has remained largely underwater.

Rain in the area ended at dawn on Thursday as rescuers searched for more stranded people and prepared to find potentially more bodies.

A worker unblocks drains in a flooded street.

A worker unblocks drains on a flood-affected street in Brooklyn, NY, early Thursday as flash floods and record-breaking rainfall from the remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through the area,

Ed Jones | AFP via Getty Images

High winds and torrential rains cut a hole in the roof of a US Postal Service building in New Jersey. Rain poured into a terminal at Newark International Airport on Wednesday and threatened to overflow a dam in Pennsylvania. Meteorologists have warned that rivers are unlikely to peak for a few more days, raising the possibility of more widespread flooding.

Rescues have taken place across New York City as its 8.8 million residents have seen flooding far worse than Henri’s, which was followed by two weeks of wild and sometimes deadly weather conditions across the country. Forest fires threaten Lake Tahoe, Tropical Storm Henri hit the northeast, and Ida struck Louisiana as the fifth strongest storm to ever hit the Americas, leaving 1 million people without power, May -be for weeks.

Amtrak service has been canceled between Philadelphia and Boston.

At least 220,000 customers were without power in the area at one time, with most outages in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Southern New England woke up Thursday with flooded roads, commuter delays and an ongoing flash flood warning. Some students at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, have been forced out of their dorms. In Plainville, Connecticut, authorities said they used boats to rescue 18 people from a flooded neighborhood.

A section of Highway 24 in Southeast Massachusetts was closed due to water on the highway. In Portsmouth, RI, a road collapsed under the onslaught of rain.

The National Weather Service said it was investigating a possible tornado landing on Cape Cod around 1 a.m. Thursday. Meteorologist Bill Simpson said damage had been reported, including felled trees.

Parts of Johnstown, Pa., Where 2,200 people died after an infamous dam failure in 1889, were evacuated for some time on Wednesday after water rose to dangerous levels at a dam near town. An official said later on Wednesday that water levels near the dam were dropping.

In Frederick County, Maryland, first responders used a boat to rescue 10 children and a driver from a school bus caught in rising waters. The county school principal has been criticized for not firing the students too early. He apologized, saying the decision to stay open caused “stress and anxiety for many,” the Frederick News-Post reported.

The hurricane season in the Atlantic is far from over. Larry turned into a hurricane Thursday morning, which is expected to intensify rapidly and become a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm by Sunday. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said it was heading west but staying away from any coast.

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