Speed Reads

extreme weather

Death toll from Ida rises to 45, after remnants of storm devastates the Northeast

At least 45 people died in the Northeast on Wednesday and Thursday, as the remnants of Hurricane Ida brought torrential rain to the region that triggered extraordinary flooding.

The deaths were reported in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said 23 people were killed in his state, most of them in cars that were overtaken by flood waters. During a Thursday news conference, he asked residents to "please stay off the roads. We're not out of this yet." Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) said the extreme rains and flooding should be "a wake-up call. Anybody who believes that it's too expensive to stop climate change ... has got to wake up to the fact that we cannot afford not to."

In New York, 15 people died, including 12 in New York City. Amid a rare flash-flood emergency, water flooded the city's streets, subway stations, and basement and ground floor apartments. Two busy roadways — Manhattan's FDR Drive and the Bronx River Parkway — were underwater on Wednesday night, and Central Park set a record when the National Weather Service determined 3.15 inches of rain fell in the park in just one hour. Less than two weeks ago, Tropical Storm Henri drenched New York, dropping a then-record 1.94 inches of rain in Central Park in an hour.

Ida made landfall early Sunday afternoon in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane. At least nine deaths related to the storm were recorded in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, and the states are all now slowly trying to recover from Ida, which destroyed homes, businesses, and schools, and has left hundreds of thousands without electricity. The center of Ida was 100 miles east of Massachusetts on Thursday night and moving northeast.