Over twenty people in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania died as a result of the rainstorm prompted by Hurricane Ida. NYC Mayor de Blasio declared a state of emergency following flooding that suspended service in the city’s subways. In addition, the mayor instituted a travel ban lasting until the early hours of the morning, preventing any non essential vehicles from taking to the roads.
Over three inches of rain fell in a single hour in Central Park alone, handily surpassing the previous record of under two inches. In an address, President Biden warned that action would need to be undertaken to deal with a climate crisis that is “already here”. Furthermore, NY Governor Kathy Hochul said that Biden offered the state “any assistance” in respond to the calamity.
Viral videos on social media displayed all sorts of worrying and bizarre scenes, from people kayaking to a man smoking on an inflatable object. Entire streets in Brooklyn and Queens were converted into rivers, with many thousands of cars completely totaled by water damage. Countless basement dwellings were flooded, many with considerable damage to property and structure. Several people are known to have drown to death in their basement apartments as a result of the flood.
Just 11 days ago, Hurricane Henri set rain records for the city. The fact that once in a lifetime storms are becoming increasingly normal is worrying for New York and the entire tristate region.