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Hurricane Ida's remnants pound Northeast, killing at least 45

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At least 45 people in the Northeast were killed as the remnants of Hurricane Ida caused torrential rain, devastating floods and tornadoes overnight. Rescue teams in Pennsylvania spent hours Thursday using boats to reach people stranded by floodwaters, and similar rescues played out in the New York City suburbs.

At least one tornado rolled through the southern part of New Jersey, ripping the sides off some homes and turning others into rubble.

"An extraordinary, sadly tragic, historic 24 hours in New Jersey, there's no other way to put it," the state's governor, Phil Murphy, told reporters. In his state alone, 25 people died due to the storm.

Wednesday night was the first time the National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for New York City, where officials said the storm was responsible for at least 13 deaths.

The city's entire subway system was shut down overnight. Water gushed into some stations and onto trains filled with passengers.

"Everything is electrified, so one false step, a passenger, or anyone, could be electrocuted," a conductor said.

First responders pull residents in a boat following flooding in Mamaroneck, New York
First responders pull local residents in a boat as they rescue people trapped by floodwaters in Mamaroneck, New York, on  September 2, 2021, after the remnants of Ida brought drenching rain, flash floods and tornadoes to parts of the Northeast. MIKE SEGAR/REUTERS

New Jersey governor reports 25 deaths

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said the death toll in his state climbed from 23 to 25 overnight, and at least six people are missing. 

"We're still not out of the woods," he said Friday on TODAY. "We still have a lot of damage that we're dealing with. We still have floodwaters that are higher, significantly higher than normal."

The new death toll in New Jersey brings the total number of deaths to at least 45.   


Two more deaths reported, bringing toll to 43

Officials in New York and Maryland reported an additional storm-related death each on Thursday night, bringing the storm's death toll in the Northeast to 43. 

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said one person died Wednesday night after being caught in a flash flood and getting out of their car. That person's spouse, who was with them at the time, is now missing, Latimer said. 

In Maryland, officials in Montgomery County said a 19-year-old man, Melkin Daniel Parada Cedillo, was found dead after police responded to reports of flooding at an apartment complex. The flooding impacted 50 apartments and 150 residents were displaced, officials said. 

By Victoria Albert

Dozens of vehicles submerged on NYC's Major Deegan Expressway

Hurricane Ida flooding New York
Cars are stranded by high water Thursday, September 2, 2021, on the Major Deegan Expressway in Bronx borough of New York as high water left behind by Hurricane Ida still stands on the highway hours later. Craig Ruttle / AP

Heavy rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ida caused flooding that stalled vehicles and destroyed structures across New York City. The Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx borough of the city resembled a movie scene, CBS New York reported.

Dozens of abandoned vehicles were partially submerged on the expressway that was overwhelmed by flash flooding. Crews were in the process of draining the expressway and towing the cars.

Some New Yorkers had to see it for themselves.

"I'm blown away. Shocked is, I'm past that. Everyone is like, they can't believe it," one person said.

"I've never seen this before. Other rivers… get flooded, but not the Major Deegan," another said.

The cars, along with hundreds more across the city, including in Bushwick, were submerged at times. Many were destroyed after a deluge of rain pounded the area.


Yankees broadcaster John Sterling rescued from car stranded on flooded road

Yankees broadcaster John Sterling was helped out of his flooding car by Spanish radio play-by-play man Rickie Ricardo on Wednesday night after Sterling got stuck trying to drive home after a game.

Sterling and Ricardo both called New York's game at the Los Angeles Angels from Yankee Stadium because the radio crews have not resumed traveling with the team as part of COVID-19 protocols.

Ricardo told WFAN on Thursday the 83-year-old Sterling was the first to leave the stadium after the game concluded around 10 p.m., while Ricardo stayed later for a Spanish postgame show.

Ricardo said when he finally left the park, the lobby at Yankee Stadium had water up to his ankles, and he encountered several closed and flooded streets as the East Coast was pummeled by the remnants of Hurricane Ida.

Sterling's broadcast partner, Suzyn Waldman, called Ricardo as he was trying to find a route to his home in New Jersey and told him that Sterling was stuck in his car on River Road in Edgewater, New Jersey, just over the George Washington Bridge.

"I've seen how bad it gets flooded on River Road in Edgewater, and with the kind of rain we had, I can only imagine," Ricardo said. "So I said, 'Suzyn, I'm on my way. I more or less know where he lives. I'll figure out where he's at and see what I can do.'"

Ricardo called Sterling and kept him on the phone until he found him in one of roughly 25 vehicles stuck in flooding that covered the tires of most cars. Ricardo, who drives a Jeep, pulled up behind Sterling's car and helped him get out of the vehicle. He said it took them an hour to find a clear path to Sterling's apartment about a half-mile away, but he eventually got Sterling there safely.

John Sterling
In this September 25, 2009, file photo, New York Yankees broadcaster John Sterling sits in the booth before the Yankees' baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in New York. Bill Kostroun / AP
By The Associated Press

Preliminary EF-3 tornado hit New Jersey area, weather officials say

The National Weather Service of Mount Holly, New Jersey, tweeted that a survey team completed its preliminary report of a tornado that hit the Mullica Hill area in Gloucester County.

"The preliminary rating was an EF-3 with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph," the weather service tweeted.

New Jersey tornado damage
Sam Catrambone clears debris away from a friend's home after a tornado in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, on September 2, 2021, after remnants of Ida caused flooding and damage across the region. BRANDEN EASTWOOD/AFP via Getty Images

The Mullica Hill tornado spanned as wide as 400 yards, per the NWS, and stretched for 12.6 miles over a span of 20 minutes. It caused mostly tree damage before it hit Mullica Hill, where it then destroyed roofs, demolished walls and tossed cars. NWS said in its report that at least one home was completely destroyed.

Weather officials also confirmed an EF-2 tornado with estimated peak winds up to 130 mph hit Montgomery County.

By Peter Martinez

Hurricane Ida aftermath: By the numbers

Death toll: 41

  • New Jersey: 23
  • New York: 13 (11 in Queens, 2 in Brooklyn)
  • Pennsylvania: 4
  • Connecticut: 1

Power outages (as of 6 p.m. ET)

  • Pennsylvania: 55,059
  • New Jersey: 32,576
  • New York: 17,535

Flight cancellations (as of 6 p.m. ET)

  • Total delays today: 7,087
  • Total delays within, into, or out of the U.S. today: 2,895
  • Total cancellations today: 2,489
  • Total cancellations within, into, or out of the U.S. today: 948

New York City rescues

  • 166 rescues of people who needed assistance (69 water rescues)
  • 800 passengers rescued from trains
  • 496 vehicles abandoned and had to be moved, according to the NYPD
  • 25 families relocated
By Peter Martinez

Officials identify Connecticut State Trooper killed in floodwaters

Sergeant Brian Mohl, a "well-respected veteran Connecticut State Trooper, died early Thursday when his cruiser was swept away by floodwaters from the Pomperaug River on a road in Woodbury, officials said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

"It is with deep regret and sadness that I report that the State Police today lost a good man who dedicated more than a quarter century to protecting the citizens of Connecticut. Sergeant Mohl was committed to helping others, to keeping public safety his priority and to always assisting his fellow Troopers," Colonel Stavros Mellekas, commanding officer of the State Police, said in a press release.

Mohl was found by search and rescue teams in the waters of the river as remnants of Hurricane Ida swept the region.

"Every line of duty death is heartbreaking and the loss of Sgt. Mohl is no different. He was outside, in the middle of the night, in horrendous conditions, patrolling the Troop L area. He was doing a job he loved and he was taken much too soon," Mellekas said.

Mohl had entered the State Police Training Academy in 1994 and graduated the following year with the 105th Training Troop. He is the 25th Connecticut State Trooper to have been killed in the line of duty, according to the press release.

Sergeant Brian Mohl seen in an undated photo.   Connecticut State Police
By Peter Martinez

23 people killed in New Jersey, bringing Northeast death toll to 41

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that 23 people died as a result of the storm, bringing the death toll in the Northeast to 41.

"The majority of these deaths were individuals who got caught in their vehicles by flooding and were overtaken by the water," he tweeted.

By Peter Martinez

Utility asks New Yorkers to conserve power during repairs

New York power company Con Edison asked tens of thousands of its customers in northern Manhattan to conserve electricity after the utility reduced its voltage by 5% while crews make repairs.

The company asked its 78,200 customers in the Carnegie Hill, East Harlem, Upper East Side and Yorkville neighborhoods to not use such appliances as washers, dryers and microwaves until the repairs are finished.

The company also asked people to reduce how much they use their air conditioners.

Con Edison said the equipment problems in those neighborhoods don't affect the rest of its system.

By Alex Sundby

Biden says FEMA is on the ground in the Northeast

Biden says he has spoken to FEMA and governors in areas slammed by Ida 17:08

President Biden said Thursday the Federal Emergency Management Agency was on the ground in the Northeast to provide assistance to those who need it.

While delivering remarks at the White House on his administration's response to the devastation Ida caused earlier this week along the Gulf Coast, Mr. Biden noted the agency's administrator, Deanne Criswell, oversaw the federal government's response after Superstorm Sandy struck the region in 2012.

"She knows what to do," Mr. Biden said.

The president also expressed gratitude to people responding to the storm's aftermath.

"I want to express my heartfelt thanks to all the first responders and everyone that's been working through the night and well into the morning to save lives and get power back," Mr. Biden said.

By Alex Sundby

3 people found dead in flooded New York City basement

A landlord found three people dead in a flooded basement in Queens, New York, the city's fire department confirmed to CBS News.

CBS New York reporter Andrea Grymes posted a picture of the response from authorities.

By Alex Sundby

New York City mayor ties "horrifying" storm to climate change

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tied the deadly effects of Ida's remnants to climate change Thursday, calling the storm "horrifying and unlike anything our city has ever faced."

"The sudden brutality of these storms is not a coincidence," de Blasio tweeted. "Climate change is REAL and we have to act NOW before more lives are lost."

The mayor called on officials in Washington to take action.

"We can't wait for the next 'once in a lifetime storm,'" de Blasio said. "We need real infrastructure investments and we need them now."

Cars abandoned on flooded highway in New York
Cars sit abandoned on the flooded Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx following a night of heavy wind and rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ida on September 2, 2021, in New York City.  Getty Images
By Alex Sundby

5 killed by flooding in New Jersey apartment complex

Flooding at an apartment complex in northern New Jersey killed five people, an official confirmed to CBS News on Thursday.

Kelly Martins, a spokeswoman for the city of Elizabeth, said the victims included a 72-year-old woman, her 71-year-old husband, their 38-year-old son and a 33-year-old female neighbor. Details about the fifth victim weren't immediately known.

It was unclear how much flooding the apartment complex sustained, Martins said, but there was 8 feet of water at the headquarters for the city's fire department across the street from the complex.

By Alex Sundby

New Jersey assessing tornado damage

Several "large and extremely dangerous" tornadoes were spotted throughout the Philadelphia region and southern New Jersey Wednesday, the National Weather Service said. CBS Philly reports the community of Mullica Hill, in Harristown Township, New Jersey, was hit particularly hard. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy toured the damage there Thursday morning.

Building destroyed by tornado in Mullica Hill, New Jersey
A destroyed building is seen in Mullica Hill, Harristown Township, New Jersey, in New Jersey, on September 2, 2021, after record-breaking rainfall, flooding and tornadoes brought by the remnants of Ida swept through the area.  BRADEN EASTWOOD/AFP via Getty Images

"It's like a war zone. The one house over there, there is nothing left of it," local resident Julia Konawel told CBS Philly.

Burlington County officials say there were also several tornado sightings reported in that area. Video taken from a highway toll booth showed a large funnel cloud roaring through Burlington on Wednesday. 

Tornado seen in Burlington, New Jersey
In this image taken from video, a tornado is seen in the distance through the windshield of a car near a toll booth for the Burlington Bristol Bridge, in Burlington, New Jersey, on Sept. 1, 2021. Scott Smith / AP

Picture shows buses in Massachusetts underwater

A picture taken in Waltham, Massachusetts, shows eight buses in a parking lot underwater. A flash flood warning had been in effect for the area west of Boston until 9.a.m.

"Rainfall is beginning to move out of the area, but there are still many flooded roads throughout southern New England," the National Weather Service tweeted. "It will take time for the water to recede in these areas. Do not attempt to cross any flooded roads this morning. Turn around don't drown!"

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin

All NJ Transit rail service is suspended

New Jersey's state-owned public transportation system said Thursday that all rail service remains suspended, except the Atlantic City Rail Line. The Newark Light Rail is also suspended. 

"HBLR modified weekend service. Buses and River LINE service are operating, but expect significant delays, cancellations and extensive detours due to major flooding and stranded vehicles on roadways," NJ Transit said.

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin

New Jersey officials urge people to stay off roads

Officials in New Jersey are urging people to stay off the roads Thursday morning as crews work to clear trees and downed power lines. 

"Many roads remain flooded this morning," Governor Phil Murphy tweeted. "It is not safe to drive. Our crews are working to clear and open roads, and we need everyone to stay off them so crews can safely do their job."

State police said people should turn around if they see a flooded area — "do not attempt to drive through it."

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin

Travel advisory in effect in New York City

Non-emergency vehicles are being urged to stay off roads and highways in New York City to allow for clean-up to continue. 

"Stay home as much as possible today until conditions improve," the city mayor's office tweeted.

A travel advisory went into effect as a travel ban for the city expired early Thursday.

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin

NYC flood warning in effect until 10 a.m.

A flood warning for New York City remains in effect until 10 a.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. Flood warnings are also in effect for parts of New Jersey, New York state and Connecticut. 

"Some locations that will continue to experience flooding include... Newark, Jersey City, Jamaica, Yonkers, Paterson, Elizabeth, Flatbush, New Rochelle, Flushing, Passaic, Bayonne, White Plains, Wayne, Mott Haven, Hoboken, Plainfield, Bloomfield, East Tremont, Hackensack and Linden," forecasters said. 

Areas in southern Connecticut were under a flood warning until 11 a.m. ET. 

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin

MTA service largely suspended

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs buses, trains and subways in the New York area, said service was largely suspended as of early Thursday morning due to heavy rainfall and flooding across the region. 

"Service across our system is extremely limited as we work to recover from last night's heavy rainfall and flooding," the MTA tweeted.  "Stay home if you can. If you must travel, please note that train times may not be accurate."

New Yorkers walk through flooded subway station
People walk on flooded stairs at a subway station in New York City, September 1, 2021. Twitter/ @MWATSONNYC via Reuters

Some subways and trains that were operating were delayed. 

Travelers are advised to check for updates. 

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin

Families rescued from major flooding in Westchester County

Firefighters are deploying inflatable boats to rescue people from their doorsteps in Mamaroneck, New York. CBS New York reports that there is significant flooding throughout Westchester County.

Cars appear to be submerged to their roofs just a block away from the village's main shopping district, the station reports. Others have been abandoned in the middle of the road.

Mamaroneck public schools are closed Thursday. The school district said buildings will be closed because of "flooding, unsafe conditions and significant damage."

By Stephen Smith

Mother and son, 2-year-old boy among victims in NYC

The NYPD said a 45-year-old woman and her 22-year-old son were killed when a building partially collapsed in Jamaica, Queens.

CBS New York reports neighbors said heavy rains flooded the street in what felt like less than a minute. Cars then drove through the flood water, creating waves that crashed into the multi-family home, flooding the basement and first floor.

Authorities said the storm victims also included a 2-year-old boy in Maspeth, Queens. 

By Stephen Smith

70-year-old man dies after being swept away by floodwaters

A 70-year-old man in Passaic, New Jersey, died when he was swept away by floodwaters. Passaic Mayor Hector Lora said he had unconfirmed reports of additional deaths. Divers were searching for other people who might need to be rescued.

Lora ordered the evacuation of residents in downtown Passaic due to concern about the rising level of the Passaic River and a morning high tide.

And one person died Wednesday evening in Upper Dublin Township in Pennsylvania, township manager Paul Leonard confirmed to CBS Philadelphia. He didn't provide details on the person's age or how the person died.

By Brian Dakss

Scores stranded on NYC-area trains

Ida's flooding left many commuters stranded on trains Wednesday night in the New York metropolitan area, CBS New York reports. Some waited for hours.

"The power's out. There's no air conditioning, there's no power or electricity. There's no water, there's no lights. There's, I think, one functioning bathroom," Colleen Hartnect told the station's Cory James. Hartnect and dozens of others were stranded for nearly 10 hours after tracks were flooded.

It was a similar story on Metro-North, the commuter line from New York City to its northern suburbs. Chase Smith told CBS New York he took a train from New York City to New Haven, Connecticut at 9 p.m. Wednesday. By 4 a.m. Thursday, he was still stranded with nearly 100 other passengers. "We were told that we couldn't go forward anymore, because of downed trees," he told James.

Acting Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman and CEO John Lieber issued a statement Thursday morning saying, "This has been a historic and challenging night for the region, our customers and transit workers. Torrential rains caused massive amounts of water to enter subways and flood roads, creating severe disruptions to service. Our concern is for those who were in trains stuck after up to six inches of rain fell within hours, and top priority is working with first responders to safely evacuate everyone from the system."

At least six subway trains stuck between stations were evacuated.  

By Brian Dakss

Newark airport terminal adds "swimming pool"

As Hurricane Ida's remnants took their toll on the New York metropolitan area's three major airports, at least one person at Newark Liberty International showed he'd retained a sense of humor:

By Brian Dakss
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