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More than 45 killed in Northeast after Ida's remnants cause major floods, tornadoes

New York City flooding
Posted at 4:39 AM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 23:25:28-04

The remnants of Hurricane Ida blew into the northeast on Wednesday night and caused the deaths of at least 46 people as historic rains led to urban flash floods in New York City and surrounding areas.

Officials said at least 16 people died in New York, 23 more died in New Jersey and at least five were killed in Pennsylvania. A state trooper was also killed in Connecticut after his vehicle was swept away, the Associated Press reported.

Those deaths bring Ida's death toll to more than 50, though officials in Louisiana and Mississippi expect that number to continue to rise in the coming days.

Videos shared on social media show water roaring down New York City subway station steps and onto tracks. Other videos showed subway riders standing on seats in a train that had been flooded with water. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority suspended all service amid the flooding Wednesday, and the MTA is only operating at limited capacity.

Highways leading in and out of New York were also flooded, leaving motorists stranded in their cars.

A 50-year-old man, a 48-year-old woman and a 2-year-old male were all found dead at the same residence on 64th street in New York City.

In an address to the nation early Thursday afternoon, President Joe Biden noted that New York City received more rain on Wednesday — Sept. 1 — than it typically received over the entire month of September.

Among the dead in New Jersey are four people who were located in the same apartment complex. An additional person died in Passaic, New Jersey when a car was caught in floodwaters.

The remnants of Ida also sparked what are believed to be tornadoes in the Philadelphia area. The National Weather Services says "a confirmed large and extremely dangerous tornado" touched down in Woodberry Heights, New Jersey. Video taken from Burlington Township, New Jersey, located just outside of Philadelphia, shows the formation of funnel clouds.

Power is slowly returning for thousands of people in the Mid-Atlantic. According to PowerOutages.us, approximately 37,000 customers in Pennsylvania are without electricity, in addition to about 21,000 in New Jersey, 11,000 in New York and 2,000 in Connecticut.

In a press conference on Thursday, top New York City and state officials called for the passage of President Joe Biden's infrastructure passage and budget plan, which would provide more federal funding to fix the city's aging sewer and drainage systems as well as provide funding to combat climate change.

"Woe is us if we don't recognize that these changes are due to climate change. Woe is us if we don't do something soon," Sen. Chuck Schumer said.

In his address Thursday, Biden also echoed the comments from his colleagues from New York, noting that Hurricane Ida and ongoing wildfires in California were "yet another reminder that these extreme storms from climate change are here."

Biden also noted that the federal government was ready to offer assistance to any state or local government that was affected by Ida.

"We're all in this together. The nation is here to help," Biden said.

In the south, recovery efforts from Ida are already underway, though much is left to be done. Lights were turned on in some areas of New Orleans on Wednesday, though 900,000 customers are still without power.

Officials believe it could take weeks for some in the state to have electricity restored to their homes. In the meantime, officials are asking those who evacuated to stay away.

President Joe Biden is expected to visit the New Orleans area on Friday to tour the damage.

*Note: This story previously indicated that five people had died in an apartment in Elizabeth, New Jersey, citing the Associated Press. The AP has since issued a correction, indicating that four people died in the incident.