The Environment

US Flooding Crisis: At least 46 dead after floodwaters swamp 6 states

Access Bank

Dozens have died in six Eastern states — Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia — after Hurricane Ida brought unprecedented rainfall to some areas.
The New York area awoke to a flood-ravaged and largely paralyzed landscape on Thursday.

The remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped ‘historic rain’ over New York City as basement apartments suddenly filled with water and freeways and boulevards turned into rivers, submerging cars.

New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, described the flooding and weather on Wednesday night as a “historic weather event,” and the National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency in New York City for the first time.

Trapped in basements and cars, they lost their lives in savage storm
At 9:30 pm on Wednesday, Mingma Sherpa, who lived in a basement apartment in Queens with her husband and toddler son, frantically called her upstairs neighbour for help. “The water is coming in right now,” Choi Sledge, the neighbour, said, recalling Sherpa’s desperation. “Get out! Get to the third floor!” Sledge said she screamed into the phone.

But the family did not come upstairs. Sledge called them again. The call was brief. “The last thing I hear from them is, ‘The water coming in from the window.’ And that was it,” Sledge said Thursday. All three of her neighbours died that night — Sherpa, her husband, Lobsang Lama, and their little boy whom people called Ang. They drowned in a storm that pounded down the wettest hour in New York City history, according to the National Weather Service, which declared a flash flood emergency — the first-ever for the city — just at the time of Sherpa’s phone call.

 

Biden message to battered Gulf Coast: ‘We are here for you’
President Joe Biden is calling for greater public resolve to confront climate change and help the nation deal with the fierce storms flooding and wildfires that have beset the country as he makes a sojourn to hurricanebattered Louisiana on Friday

“My message to everyone affected is we’re all in this together.” Biden said in a speech Thursday at the White House where he addressed the multiple natural disasters that have unfolded this week “The nation is here to help. Trips to natural disaster scenes have long been a feature of the US presidency. It’s a moment to show compassion and deliver aid in ways that can shape the public’s perception of White House leadership,” he added. Biden was scheduled to meet with Louisianas Democratic governor John Bel Edwards and other local officials and tour a neighborhood in LaPlace a community between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain that was inundated by storm surge flooding that left people trapped in attics. (AP)

New York is particularly vulnerable to extreme storms. Here’s why
Record-breaking rainfall and flooding paralyzed New York City on Wednesday, exposing the city’s vulnerability to heavy downpours that are becoming increasingly more severe with global warming.

As the remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through the New York area, Central Park recorded 7.19 inches of rain, nearly double the previous record set in 1927 for the same date, according to the National Weather Service. New York City issued its first-ever flash flood emergency alert as furious, wind-driven rains swamped the subway system and led to at least eight deaths.

Biden calls emergency in New York over heavy rain, floods
US President Joe Biden declared an emergency in New York state, ordering federal aid to help regional responders tackle devastation left by a fading Hurricane Ida, the White House said in a statement on Thursday. Flash flooding killed at least 44 people in four northeastern states including New York as hurricane remnants unleashed torrential rains.

United Airlines resumes flights at Newark, NJ airport after flooding
United Airlines on Thursday afternoon resumed operations at Newark Liberty International airport in New Jersey after disruptions caused by flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Ida.The impact of the storm was still being felt in the northeastern United States as Amtrak and other rail services were canceled.United, the largest carrier at the New York area airport, had canceled more than 200 flights nationwide, according to Flightaware, an aviation website. Rival American Airlines has also experienced delays and cancellations at the Newark airport, while Delta Air Lines said it has seen roughly 80 cancellations across New York City area airports. (Reuters)

NYPD rescues more than 800 passengers from city’s subways
More than 800 passengers were rescued from across the New York City’s subway system due to last night’s storm, New York Police Department Chief Rodney Harrison said Thursday.

Along with the 835 passengers rescued, the NYPD made 69 water rescues and 166 non-water rescues related to the remnants of Hurricane Ida, Harrison said. Twenty of the 69 water rescues happened in Queens, and 18 of the 20 Queens rescues occurred at the ongoing US Open tennis tournament, Harrison said.

Last night, Sergeant Moschetto and Officer Torres from @NYPDCentralPark spotted a livery driver stuck in floodwater on the 65th Street Transverse. The officers quickly waded through the water and carried the driver out to safety.

New Jersey Governor requests major disaster declaration from Biden
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has requested a major disaster declaration from President Biden, citing the severity of Hurricane Ida. “This support will help us meet the urgent needs of our residents and businesses in the wake of the this unprecedented disaster,” Murphy tweeted, adding he was hopeful the request would be considered quickly.

In a letter to Biden, Murphy cited the estimated 8 to 10 inches of rain that fell in central New Jersey in mere hours, noting that was more than a month’s worth of rain at one time. He also noted how the storm overwhelmed counties along the Delaware River and inland waterways, among other damage and destruction from Ida.

I just requested a Major Disaster Declaration from @POTUS in response to Tropical Storm Ida.

This support will help us meet the urgent needs of our residents and businesses in the wake of this unprecedented disaster.

Hopeful for the swift consideration of this request

New York Governor: ‘It’s been a hard day for New Yorkers’
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said it’s been heartbreaking being in New York City after the impact of Hurricane Ida. “It’s been a hard day for New Yorkers, to not just to deal with the weather but to wake up and know that we lost some of our fellow citizens, simply because they weren’t able to get out of their car, weren’t able to get out of their home,” Hochul said.

Hochul reiterated her need to do a full assessment of what led to the city’s response to the storm. “Once we get our feel assessment done, I’m going to be demanding answers,” Hochul said. “I want to know who knew what when and what could have been done differently — because New Yorkers deserve to know what we’re doing to learn from this event and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

I am formally requesting a Federal Emergency Declaration for 14 downstate counties following damage caused by last night’s historic weather event.

More than 40 killed in US north-east amid sudden heavy rains and flooding
The death toll from floods and tornadoes in the US north-east rose past 40 on Thursday, as authorities continued to digest the full impact of the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Ida struck Louisiana last Sunday, knocking out power to the city of New Orleans and causing deaths in that state and Mississippi.

The National Hurricane Center had warned since Tuesday of the potential for “significant and life-threatening flash flooding” and major river flooding in the mid-Atlantic and New England. The storm struck the region on Wednesday night. Late on Thursday afternoon, after a day of rescue work and disruption to transportation and power, the governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, said he was “saddened to report that, as of right now, at least 23 New Jerseyans have lost their life to this storm.

Even during an unprecedented weather event, New Yorkers always come together. Thanks to all staff, and our partners, for working through the toughest of conditions to help.

Destruction and paralysis left by Hurricane Ida
The New York area awoke to a flood-ravaged and largely paralyzed landscape Thursday, after record-shattering rains brought by the remnants of Hurricane Ida left a trail of death and damage across several states, shut down transit and exposed anew the region’s vulnerability to a changed climate.

At least 14 people died as waters rose in basements. A tornado in southern New Jersey levelled a stretch of houses. Some drivers have reportedly been stranded since Wednesday night, more than 200,000 homes in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania remain without power, and states of emergency have been declared across the region.

Five more people found dead in New Jersey; toll mounts to 14
Five more people were found dead in New Jersey, bringing the death toll in the region from Wednesday’s floods to 14. According to the New York Times, the dead in NYC ranged in age from a 2-year-old boy to an 86-year-old woman, the police said. Some drowned in basement apartments in Queens, where a system of makeshift and mostly illegally converted living spaces has sprung up.

Remnants of Hurricane Ida hit US Open
Even a retractable roof at the US Open was no match for the heavy rain and wind as the remnants of Hurricane Ida carried to Flushing Meadows, knocking down tree limbs and causing flooding around the tournament grounds, while forcing a match to shift from one court to another after a delay of two and half hours.

Recovery efforts underway
Recovery efforts were underway early on Thursday to bring back transportation systems serving millions of residents in the densely populated metropolitan area. According to Reuters, New York Governor Kathy Hochul urged commuters to stay home from work and pleaded for patience to “give us some time to have complete restoration of the trains” after service was knocked out in much of the area, leaving many riders stranded overnight.

Death toll mounts to 9 in New York, New Jersey
Flooding killed at least nine people, swept away cars, submerged subway lines and grounded flights in New York and New Jersey as the remnants of Hurricane Ida brought torrential rains to the area, Reuters reported. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio described the flooding and weather on Wednesday night as a “historic weather event,” and the National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency in New York City for the first time.

Remnants of Hurricane Ida hit US Open, creates chaos
Even a retractable roof at the US Open was no match for the heavy rain and wind as the remnants of Hurricane Ida carried to Flushing Meadows, knocking down tree limbs and causing flooding around the tournament grounds, while forcing a match to shift from one court to another after a delay of 2 1/2 hours.

“Crazy weather,” was the way 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman summed things up after he managed to beat 2017 runner-up Kevin Anderson 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-4 in their interrupted contest to reach the third round as Wednesday became Thursday. More details here.

All non-emergency vehicles banned temporarily from New York City’s streets
Nearly all New York City subway lines have been suspended as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida brought drenching rain and the threat of flash floods and tornadoes to parts of the northern mid-Atlantic, CNN reported.

All non-emergency vehicles have been banned from New York City’s streets until 5 a.m. (0900 GMT) on Thursday due to the weather, city authorities said on Twitter.

The remnants of Hurricane Ida brought heavy winds, drenching rains and at least one tornado on Wednesday as the storm battered Pennsylvania and New Jersey, collapsing the roof of a US Postal Service building and threatening to overrun a dam on the way.

The National Weather Service confirmed at least one tornado and social media posts showed homes reduced to rubble in Mullica Hill, a southern New Jersey county just outside Philadelphia. Other video showed water rushing through Newark Liberty International Airport as the storm moved into New York on Wednesday night.

 

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