President Joe Biden issued emergency declarations in both New York and New Jersey as states were wallopped by remnants of Hurricane Ida. The two Democrat-run states have accounted for 42 of the 49 deaths in the northeast.
After bringing about mayhem to states located off of the gulf coast, what remained of Hurricane Ida ravaged the Northeast. New Jersey and New York received the brunt of Ida, as death totals have risen to 25 in New Jersey, and 17 in New York, including 13 dead in New York City. Pennsylvania has reported the deaths of 5 individuals, while other nearby states, Connecticut and Maryland, each tally one deceased person.
In the wake of the most recent natural disaster, President Biden has issued emergency declarations in both New Jersey and New York. Biden’s declarations accompany the state of emergencies that were already issued by governors of the respective states.
New Jersey experienced extreme flash-flooding in addition to the most powerful tornado the state has seen since 1991. The tornado made landfall in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, and decimated 9 homes. No one perished from the EF3 twister with 150 MPH winds. All 25 deaths reported deaths in the garden state have been a result of flash flooding according to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.
📸: Satellite images show Memorial Parkway in New Brunswick, New Jersey, before and after record-breaking rainfall brought by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. https://t.co/cSfcxgKaKJ pic.twitter.com/cRndlsFGNM
— ABC News (@ABC) September 3, 2021
#Ida ‘s remnants plus the front forced The Raritan River in New Jersey up past record level – higher than with Floyd in 1999.
Bridgewater Township, New Jersey
— Ginger Zee (@Ginger_Zee) September 3, 2021
“Tornado warnings get heeded,” the governor started. “Sadly when they hear flooding, they think ‘you know what, it’s water, I can deal with this.’ And bless their souls, we’ve got 25 people who tried and lost their lives.”
Murphy explained that the state took appropriate precautions prior to the storm, claiming New Jersey officials warned constituents of the storm’s severity.
“We shouted out unequivocally that tornadoes were likely and flooding was likely, and this was going to be a very significant, historic rainstorm. We declared a state of emergency before anybody else in our neighborhood. Having said that, this was historic. I mean, you’ve got, 8 to 10, if not more, inches of rain in, across only several hours.”
While Murphy believes state officials adequately warned citizens in New Jersey, state leadership in New York admitted to severely dropping the ball. New York Governor Kathy Hochul, who assumed gubernatorial duties after former disgraced Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned from his position amid sexual harassment scandals, claims she did not know remnants of Ida posed such a threat.
“We did not know that between 8:50 and 9:50 p.m. last night, that the heavens would literally open up and bring Niagara Falls level of water to the streets of New York,” Hochul explained. “I don’t want this to happen again.”
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) September 2, 2021
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also admitted to mishandling preparations for the storm, claiming he expected 3 to 6 inches of rain throughout the course of the day. De Blasio’s forecast was a severe underestimation as totals accumulated to 7.49 inches of rain in mid-town Manhattan, 7.19 inches in Central Park, and 8.31 inches at the College of Staten Island as reported by NBC New York. Central Park’s total of 7.19 inches is 1.6 times the monthly average of rain in September.
The governors of New York and New Jersey declared a state of emergency as record-breaking rains from tropical storm Ida led to flooding and hazardous conditions on the roads, with media reporting at least nine deaths https://t.co/SeNTfX8p5E pic.twitter.com/QUfxj4zR6m
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 2, 2021
According to the New York Times, 11 of the 13 people who died in New York City drowned in illegal basement apartments. The Times accounted the story of Roberto Bravo, who drowned in his windowless basement during the storm. Bravo could be heard screaming, “ayúdame por favor,” or, please “help me in” English. Bravo was unable to escape through the only exit as water crept towards his ceiling.
Bravo was one of many New Yorkers who lived in the network of illegal basement apartments. The New York Times has reported that it is likely the number of these basement apartments reaches the tens of thousands.