According to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, at least 23 people have died in his state. For their part, city officials said at least 12 people died in New York City. Suburban Westchester County has reported three more deaths.
Meanwhile, at least five people have died in Pennsylvania, including one killed by a fall from a tree and another who drowned in his car after helping his wife escape, authorities said.
In Connecticut, a state police sergeant perished after his patrol car was washed away. Another death has been reported in Maryland.
In many areas of New York City, people have drowned inside their apartments because they could not open the doors against the strong rise in water levels.
In Elizabeth, New Jersey, near Newark Airport, four people died and 600 were left homeless due to rain and a river flooding at an apartment complex, said the mayor of the town.
More than 23 cm of rain
As of Tuesday, meteorologists from the National Hurricane Center had warned the public of the possibility of “significant and potentially fatal flash floods” in the mid-Atlantic region and New England. New York State Governor Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio nevertheless said the force of the storm surprised them.
In the end, the storm dumped more than 23 cm of rain in parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and almost as much on Staten Island, New York.
In Washington, the federal capital, President Joe Biden assured residents of the Northeast that federal agents were on the ground to help clean up.
When Ida’s remains reached New York City, some freeways were inundated, garbage dumped in the streets, and water cascaded through subway tunnels, blocking at least 17 trains and interrupting service until early morning. Videos online have shown passengers standing on seats in flooded cars. All users were safely evacuated, authorities said.
In Frederick County, Maryland, authorities used a boat to rescue 10 children and the driver of a school bus caught in rising waters.
Ida first hit Louisiana on Sunday, becoming the fifth strongest storm to ever hit the Americas. In the end, it leaves a million people without electricity, a precarious situation that could last for weeks.