A stunned United States East Coast faced a mounting death toll, rising river levels, and tornado damage Thursday after the remnants of Ida smacked the region with record-breaking rain, drowning over forty people in their homes and cars. In addition, the meteorologists warned the region about possibly deadly flash flooding. Still, they had not choked for such a blow from the past hurricane, and the storm killed around forty-six people from Maryland to Connecticut.
Governor Phil Murphy said that at least twenty-three people died in New Jersey, and according to police, thirteen people were killed in New York City. Likewise, Suburban Westchester County faced three deaths. Officials said that five people died in Pennsylvania, including one who was killed by a falling tree and another drowned in his car, but he helped his wife escape. Brian Mohl, a police sergeant of Connecticut state, froze after his cruiser swept away. One death also reported in Maryland.
BREAKING: I’m declaring a STATE OF EMERGENCY EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY in response to Tropical Storm Ida.
We will use every resource at our disposal to ensure the safety of New Jerseyans.
Stay off the roads, stay home, and stay safe.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) September 2, 2021
NHC warned of the potential for life-threatening flash flooding
Meteorologists said that soggy remnants of Ida merged with a storm front and soaked the Interstate 95 corridor. Similar weather conditions followed hurricanes before, but weather experts explained climate change somewhat worsened because warmer air holds more rain and urban settings where extensive pavement blocks water from seeping into the ground.
Since Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned of the possibility of life-threatening and significant flash flooding and huge river flooding in New England and the mid-Atlantic region. Still, the New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the strength of the storm took them by surprise.
Joe Biden Assured for First Responders Availability
The storm of Wednesday finally dumped more than nine inches of rain in some areas of Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, and almost as much on Staten Island of New York City. Moreover, U.S. President Joe Biden assured the residents of the Northeast that national first responders were on the ground to help clean up.
In New York, approximately five hundred vehicles abandoned on highways overwhelmed with floodwater and garbage dipped in streaming streets. Flood water poured into the subway tunnels of the city and ultimately trapped at least seventeen trains and disrupt service all day. Chief of Department Rodney Harrison said that police aided and evacuated 835 riders including and ninety-four-year-old man, on a highway.
The National Weather Service (NWS) said the worst storm produced around ten tornadoes from Maryland to Massachusetts, including a one hundred and fifty-mph twister that cracked homes and collapsed silos in New Jersey, Mullica Hill, south of Philadelphia. In addition, heavy flooding along the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania flooded commercial buildings, homes, and highways, even as meteorologists warned that rivers possibly wouldn’t crest for some more days.
Furthermore, the Schuylkill River reached levels not seen in more than a hundred years in Philadelphia, where firefighters were still receiving calls about minor building collapses and residents stuck in flooded cars on Thursday morning. According to Randy Padfield, a state emergency management director, the rescue team rescued many firefighters in suburban Bucks County after floodwaters pinned a rescue boat against a bridge pier.