Speed Reads

'sobering'

At least 9 dead after Northeast gets 'caught off guard' by historic flooding

At least nine people have died in the catastrophic flooding that hit the Northeast on Wednesday evening, which New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) acknowledged caught residents "off guard."

Nine deaths have been reported in New York City and in New Jersey after the historic flooding, with eight people in New York City having become trapped in basements that were flooded, according to The Associated Press. A 2-year-old was among those who died in the flooding, NBC News reports

While the Northeast was expected to see heavy rainfall after Hurricane Ida slammed the Gulf Coast earlier this week, Hochul acknowledged on CNN's New Day the scale of the storm was "stunning" and that "people were just caught off guard and so shocked," including residents who "thought they would safely be able to go down into their basements or take the trains" until this "absolutely unprecedented storm event changed everything." 

CNN Weather's Michael Guy noted that what was "so surprising" about the storm was the "span of the rainfall and the area impacted," observing, "It is such a large area across the northeast, and it only happened within a span of a few hours." But Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall was among those to write that leading up to the storm, they "had little sense during the day yesterday that we were set for anything more than normal rainfall from the remnants of Ida." 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) told CBS News the storm, which was "absolutely different than everything that had been projected," served as a "sobering" reminder that weather "has become so unpredictable, so violent, so fast." And, CBS News Meteorologist Jeff Berardelli said, while this was "by some measurements" a "once in a 500 year type event ... climate change makes the impossible not only possible, but it makes it probable."