The New York City metropolitan area was struck by sudden disaster on Wednesday night as the remnants of Hurricane Ida flooded subways, roads, and homes.
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At least 20 people were killed across the region, from Queens to Pennsylvania.
At least nine were dead in New York City, eight of whom lived in basement apartments in Queens and Brooklyn. The victims’ ages ranged from 2 to 86. Eight people were confirmed dead in New Jersey, including four people in one apartment complex in Elizabeth. Three were dead in Pennsylvania, where the storm wrought havoc with tornados and heavy flooding.
New York Governor Hochul held a press conference Thursday morning in a neighborhood of Queens strewn with debris following the flooding, where she and other high-ranking officials struggled to comprehend what had transpired. “The human loss, which is hard to imagine — that people simply in their cars, in their homes, in their basements succumbed to the ravages of a brutal storm,” she said.
Hochul cited the “record-shattering” rainfall, which deposited 3.15 inches of rain in Central Park in a single hour, breaking a record that was set barely two weeks ago. “That says to me that there are no more cataclysmic, unforeseeable events,” Hochul said. “We need to foresee these in advance and be prepared.”
New York City woke up to sunshine on Thursday morning as it assessed the damage from the devastating remnants of Ida that swept through the region Wednesday evening. At least 14 people in the region had died — at least eight in Queens and Brooklyn, and at least six in New Jersey, a state that saw relatively rare and damaging tornadoes spawned by the storm. All of the New York City victims, which included a 2-year-old, were in basement apartments when the waters rushed in, per the Daily News.
Part of the reason is the intensity of the rainfall over a short period of time. 3.15 inches of rain fell on Central Park in one hour, demolishing the hourly record set just days before during Tropical Storm Henri. And that wasn’t the only record set in the region. ■
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