Heavy rains and flooding: More than 44 killed in US north-east

The death toll from floods and tornadoes in the US north-east has risen past 44 on Thursday. 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.
  • “The majority of these deaths were individuals who got caught in their vehicles by flooding and were overtaken by the water. Our prayers are with their family members,” he added. 
  • In New York City, police said at least 13 people died, one in a car and 11 in flooded basement apartments that often serve as relatively affordable homes in one of the nation’s most expensive housing markets. Westchester county, a northern suburb of New York, reported three deaths.
  • Officials said at least five people died in Pennsylvania, including one killed by a falling tree and another who drowned in his car after helping his wife to escape.
  • The storm ultimately dumped more than 9in of rain in parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and nearly as much on Staten Island in New York City.
  • In Connecticut, a state police sergeant perished after his cruiser was swept away. A 19-year-old man was killed in flooding at an apartment complex in Rockville, Maryland, police said.

Hochul requested a federal emergency declaration for 14 counties including all of New York City. Biden assured residents across the north-east federal first responders were on the ground to help.