One Week After Ida, Damage, Death Tolls from Hurricane Ida Continue to Mount

By Kurt Stolz on 5 September 2021
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A severely damaged filling station in Whitestone, N.Y,.

Nearly one week after Hurricane Ida first made landfall, states as far apart as New York and Louisiana are still grappling with the aftermath.

Ida’s initial blow, accompanied by sustained winds of 150 mph (245 km/h), struck Louisiana on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, but it saved its most destructive strike for its finale, triggering historic flooding, destructive winds, and tornadoes in the Northeast.

Central Park saw a record 3.15” (8 centimeters) of rain in a single hour, topping the previous record, which was set just weeks earlier with Hurricane Henri.

In the New York metropolitan area, the death toll from Ida, which struck Wednesday, has risen to 46, with six people still unaccounted for.  Ida killed at least 25 people in New Jersey, more fatalities than in any other state.

Out of the 16 people who died in New York, including 13 in New York City, most lived in basement apartments.  At least four died in Pennsylvania, where the storm deluged Philadelphia, bringing major flooding on the Schuylkill River.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called the storm “horrifying” and said that people in the city “are going through hell right now” and need help.

The storm, which is tied for the fifth-strongest hurricane to strike the mainland in U.S. history, killed at least 11 in Louisiana and dumped more than 13” (33 centimeters) of water, leaving entire neighborhoods submerged.

Almost one million people lost power in Louisiana and 35% of those customers have seen their service restored. Some 24,000 people are reportedly working around the clock to get power back, according to a statement from Entergy, the state’s largest power utility.

Meanwhile, there are no figures yet on the extent of property damage caused by the storm, which dumped half a foot of water in just a few hours across parts of the Northeast, but many hundreds of homes, at least, were damaged.

The situation is even more devastating in Louisiana, where 17” (43 centimeter) fell just west of New Orleans.  Thousands of families in the region remain in the dark with no running water, little mobile phone service, and no gasoline.

Still, people in the regions where streets and highways turned into rivers and roofs were ripped off with the ease of opening a can of soup must now piece their lives back together and this represents a monumental challenge for local, state, and federal governments.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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