At Least 22 Deaths Overnight After Massive Storms, Floods

Vehicles are under water during flooding in Philadelphia, Thursday, in the aftermath of downpours and high winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ida that hit the area. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Police have reported at least nine people drowned in New York City amidst catastrophic rain and flooding.

Harav Shmiel Duvid Weissmandl, z”l, 69-year-old, passed away after being swept into high water near the Tappan Zee Bridge.

In Queens, a 48-year-old woman and her 50-year-old husband drowned along with their 2-year-old son in their basement apartment. The family on the first floor of the home barely managed to escape the rushing waters.

Other victims include an 86-year-old woman who drowned inside her basement apartment in Elmhurst;  a 48-year-old woman in Forest Hills; a 43-year-old woman and her 22-year-old son in Jamaica, Queens; and a 66-year-old man in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. All of these victims were trapped in flooded basements, according to the New York Post.

“Our hearts ache for the lives lost in last night’s storm. Please keep them and their loved ones in your thoughts today,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference on the storm’s aftermath. “They were our fellow New Yorkers and to their families, your city will be there for you in the days ahead.

In New Jersey, at least 14 people died during the floods, NBC 4 reported. Five people drowned when their Elizabeth apartment complex flooded, and one man died when his car became trapped in rushing waters in Passaic County. An unknown number has been reported missing.

Tropical Depression Ida smashed into the tri-state area on Wednesday, flooding much of Brooklyn, grinding transit to a halt and trapping people amidst rushing water and fierce winds.

The weather was so extreme, it was the first time that the National Weather Service New York issued a flash flood warning for New York City, an alert reserved for “a severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage from a flash flood is happening or will happen soon.”

Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, as did New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. President Joe Biden promised to direct FEMA resources to the state.

On Thursday, Hochul tweeted, “I have directed additional State assets to be deployed downstate to assist local governments respond to last night’s unprecedented flooding. If you live in the NYC metropolitan area—please continue to avoid non-essential travel.”

Central Park saw more than 7 inches of rain dumped in the area over the day, shattering the previous record that had stood since the 1920s.

Four tornadoes struck New Jersey and Pennsylvania, NBC Philadelphia reported. One destroyed at least nine homes in Mullica Hill, New Jersey.

The FDR Drive and the Bronx River Parkway were underwater on Wednesday night, with some people trapped and some fleeing out their windows or rescued by emergency services. New York City put a travel ban in place for all non-emergency vehicles until 5 a.m. Thursday. Many subway lines and station were submerged on Wednesday, with hundreds rescued by first responders. Subways returned with limited service by Thursday morning.

More than 200,000 lost power in the tri-state area.

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