Ida Live Updates: Rescue, Recovery Efforts Underway in Northeast, at Least 26 Dead After Flooding, Tornadoes

Live Updates

Torrential rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ida caused New York City to enter a state of emergency early on Thursday as streets and subways were overwhelmed by record flash flooding. Videos posted online show subway riders standing on seats in cars filled with water, others showing vehicles submerged up to their windows on major roadways in and around the city.

The National Weather Service office in New York declared its first-ever set of flash flood emergencies in the region Wednesday night, an alert reserved for "exceedingly rare situations when a severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage from a flash flood is happening or will happen soon."

There are several casualties reported as rescue and recovery operations continue in flooded towns throughout the Northeast. The death toll expected to increase throughout Thursday and into the weekend as the scale of the destruction becomes clear.

The live updates for this blog have ended.

Flooding in Bronx
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 02, 2021 in New York City. Numerous people were killed in New York and tornadoes did heavy damage to parts of New Jersey as the evening storm caught many off guard with the severity of its rain and wind and flooding. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

National Weather Service confirms four tornadoes in NJ, PA

The National Weather Service has confirmed four tornadoes touched down in New Jersey and Pennsylvania Wednesday.

The NWS station in Mount Holly surveyed damage in Salem, Gloucester, Burlington, Mercer and Somerset counties in New Jersey and Chester, Montgomery and Bucks counties in Pennsylvania.

At this point, the NWS confirmed tornadoes in:

  • Mullica Hill, NJ in Gloucester County
  • Oxford, PA in Chester County
  • Edgewater Park, NJ in Burlington County to Bristol, PA in Bucks
  • Fort Washington/Upper Dublin Township to Horsham Township, PA in Montgomery County

Just met with homeowners in Mullica Hill and viewed the absolutely devastating damage caused by last night’s tornado. We will do everything in our power to speed up the recovery process.

— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) September 2, 2021

Crews working to pump water from Expressway in Philadelphia

Crews in Philadelphia are working to pump water that flooded the Vine Street Expressway (I-676) back into the Schuylkill River.

Happening NOW: Breaking/ Contractors have brought in two massive water pumps with hoses to pump out the water that has flooded the Vine Street Expressway They plan to pump back into the Schuylkill River @FOX29philly

— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) September 2, 2021

The Vine Street Expressway was submerged underwater Thursday morning after the river flooded.

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Death toll rises to 26

At least 26 people from Maryland to New York have died during the rainfall and flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Ida, The Associated Press reports.

At least 12 people have died in New York City, most of whom were killed in flooded basement apartments, police officials told AP. Another man was found dead in a car on the flooded Grand Central Parkway in Queens.

A 19-year-old woman in Maryland died after floodwaters swept through her home in Rockville.

Officials in New Jersey and Pennsylvania also confirmed several deaths so far. This number is expected to increase as search and rescue operations continue.

Tornado hit Pennsylvania Wednesday, National Weather Service confirms

The National Weather Service confirms a tornado touched down in Montgomery County, Pennslyvania Wednesday.

The NWS station in Mount Holly reported an EF-2 tornado with peak winds up to 130 mph traveled from Fort Washington/ Upper Dublin Township to Horsham Township.

[2:25 PM] Storm damage survey team has confirmed an EF-2 tornado in Fort Washington/Upper Dublin Twp to Horsham Twp, PA (Montgomery County). This occurred yesterday, 9/1. Estimated peak winds up to 130 mph. More details this evening or Friday. #pawx

— NWS Mount Holly (@NWS_MountHolly) September 2, 2021

Homes mostly under water in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania

Some homes in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania are three-quarters under water, according to Mayor Mark Barbee.

"Some homes are three-quarters, if not more, under water. It is unlike anything that I have ever seen Barbee said. He said he has lived in the borough for more than a decade.

Bridgeport lies along the Schuykill River, which rose two feet above a major flood stage and hit 15.88 feet Thursday morning.

Rescue efforts are still ongoing.

"It's all hands on deck to do the work," Barbee said. "We're working with maybe 10 to 20 employees on the clock as well as volunteers. So it's a very grassroots effort, but it's been relatively successful and really brought us together."

Entergy Restores Power in 10 Louisiana Hospitals

An update issued Thursday morning by energy company Entergy said that power is currently working in 10 Louisiana hospitals: Tulane Medical Center, Tulane Medical School, VA Hospital, UMC, Ochsner Main Campus, East Jefferson, Lady of the Sea, Ochsner O'Neal Lane, Woman's Hospital and Baton Rouge General Mid City.

Out of all the outages in Mississippi and Louisiana, including the mass New Orleans outages, 18 percent were restored by Thursday morning, the company said.

New Orleans Saints to Practice at Texas Christian University as City Recovers from Ida

The NFL's New Orleans Saints will hold practices and strength and conditioning sessions at Texas Christian University as New Orleans recovers from Ida's damage.

Mickey Loomis, executive vice president and general manager for the Saints, said that the team was "extremely appreciative" to TCU for hosting them in their "time of need."

"We look forward to hosting them on campus as a practice site and being of assistance during this most difficult time. Our hearts go out to all those impacted by Hurricane Ida," TCU Athletic Director Jeremiah Donati said

“TCU is pleased to host the @Saints while New Orleans recovers from the significant effects of Hurricane Ida. We are proud to extend our hospitality and our world class athletics facilities, one hard working team to another.” -Chancellor Victor Boschini

— TCU (@TCU) September 2, 2021

'Incredible' Amounts of Rain Seen Across Mid-Atlantics in Past 3 Days

The Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. saw "incredible amounts of rain" in the past three days, according to the Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center for the National Weather Service.

A "wide swath" of the region saw three to seven inches of rain, while some saw seven to 10. Some scattered areas saw 12 or more inches of rain.

The weather comes as many parts of the U.S. see the after effects of Hurricane's onslaught across the Gulf coast.

New York and New Jersey were hit especially hard in the past couple days, with 22 people confirmed dead across the two states so far.

Incredible amounts of rain fell in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic the past 3 days with 3 to 7 inches covering a wide swath. In some places, 7 to 10 inches fell with Scattered 12+ inch amounts. #NYWX #PAWX #NJWX #DEWX #MDWX #VAWX #WVWX

— NWS MARFC (@NWSMARFC) September 2, 2021

Northeast hit with up to 9 inches of rain from Ida

The remnants of Hurricane Ida poured more than 9 inches over parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. New York's Staten Island received 8.9 inches, the Associated Press reported.

Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Connecticut, Maine, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee received between 4 and 6 inches of rain.

In New York City, Brooklyn recorded 7.76 inches of rain, midtown Manhattan, 7.49 inches, the Bronx 7.38 inches and Central Park 7.19 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.

Preliminary rainfall from post-tropical cyclone Ida (September 1-2, 2021). Thanks to all observers for these rainfall reports. Note: this map is an analysis, so values at interpolated points may not represent actual reports for specific locations.

— NWS Albany (@NWSAlbany) September 2, 2021

Report revised to four people dead in apartment in Elizabeth, NJ

Officials now say four people died in an apartment complex in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Elizabeth spokesperson Kelly Martins told the Associated Press that the victims include a 72-year-old woman and her 71-year-old husband along with their 38-year-old son. A 33-year-old woman who was their neighbor also perished. The names of the victims were not released at this time.

It was previously reported that five people died in the building.

Connecticut Governor declares state of emergency

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont declares a state of emergency in response to the flooding following Hurricane Ida.

"The filing of this declaration will help provide state and local emergency management officials with the necessary tools to aid the impacted areas in safely recovering from this record-breaking rainfall that we received overnight," Governor Lamont said in a press release.

Biden calls on insurance companies to "do the right thing"

President Joe Biden called on private insurance companies to "pay policyholders what you owe them" to cover the costs of temporary housing for those who evacuated their homes during Hurricane Ida.

Biden said there are reports that some companies may deny coverage for temporary living expenses unless the homeowner was under a mandatory evacuation order. This would not cover people in parishes who issued voluntary evacuation orders.

"Nobody fled this killer storm because they were looking for a vacation," Biden said. "They left their homes because they felt it was flee or risk death. There's nothing voluntary about that."

Biden told companies to do the right thing in the face of the devastation of Hurricane Ida.

"Don't hide behind the fine print and technicality. Do your job. Keep your commitments to your communities that you insure. Do the right thing, and pay your policyholders what you owe them," Biden said.

"We're all in this together," Biden tells Americans affected by Ida

President Joe Biden shared remarks on the nation's Hurricane Ida response.

Biden said New York recorded more rain on the first day of September than it usually does in the entire month. He said Ida is the 5th biggest hurricane in U.S. history.

At least six people have died and a million people are without power in Louisiana and Mississippi, Biden said.

He ensured that FEMA is on the ground to provide assistance. Biden said FEMA provided 4.3 million meals and 3 million liters of water to the Gulf Coast before the hurricane hit. FEMA also provided more than 250 generators and the Department of Health and Human Services deployed a 258-bed shelter and five medical assistance teams in Louisiana.

Biden will meet with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and local parish leaders.

"My message to everyone affected is — we're all in this together," Biden said. "The nation is here to help."

Baseball stadium in New Jersey underwater

The TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, New Jersey was underwater following heavy rainfall from Hurrican Ida remnants.

The stadium is home to the minor league team the Somerset Patriots, the double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees.

TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater was underwater following heavy rainfall from Hurricane Ida remnants. The park is home to the minor league baseball Somerset Patriots.

— njdotcom (@njdotcom) September 2, 2021

Death toll in New York and New Jersey reaches 22

The death toll continues to rise in the aftermath of heavy rainfall and flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Ida.

At least 22 people have died in New York and New Jersey, NBC News reported.

Four women, three men and a 2-year-old boy died in five separate flooding incidents in New York City, police said.

In New Jersey, 14 others were killed, officials said. Among them, five residents at the Oakwood Plaza Apartments complex in Elizabeth and one person whose body was recovered from a vehicle that went underwater in Passaic.

The death toll is expected to rise as damage is surveyed.

3 deaths confirmed in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

Three deaths confirmed in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, according to county officials.

The Montgomery County Coroner's Office is investigating three storm-related deaths, Chair of Montgomery County Board of Commissioners Dr. Val Arkoosh said during a press briefing Thursday.

Two people are believed to have drowned and a woman was killed when a tree crashed onto her house in Upper Dublin Township.

Arkoosh did not know the location of the two drowning deaths.

More than 450 water rescues have already taken place in Montgomery County, and there are still rescues taking place, Arkoosh said.

That is more than twice as many water rescues as the previous record for a single storm.

Images of flooding in New York and New Jersey

Images show the aftermath of Wednesday's record-breaking rainfall and flooding as people in New York and New Jersey return to their normal routines Thursday.

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9 dead after "record-shattering rainfall" in New York City, Mayor de Blasio says

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the "record-shattering rainfall" Wednesday killed nine people in the city, mostly from flooding in basement apartments.

"Nine people who were alive at this exact moment yesterday, no idea that such a horrible thing could befall them," he said during a press conference in Queens Thursday. "Families in mourning right now."

He added that the city police and fire departments rescued "hundreds" of people in flooded cars and subway stations.

De Blasio said Ida was "a horrifying storm unlike anything we've ever seen before."

"What we've got to recognize is the suddenness, the brutality of storms now, it is different," he said.

After two record-setting storms within three weeks, de Blasio said this is "the biggest wake-up call we could ever get. We're going to do a lot things differently and quickly."

New York Senator Chuck Schumer joined de Blasio at the press briefing. He noted that "global warming is upon us" and it "will just keep getting worse and worse."

"Woe is us if we don't recognize these changes are due to climate change," he said. "Woe is us if we don't do something about it quickly. both in building resilient infra or going to clean stop global warming or at least reduce its awful effects on our country."

Death toll rises to at least 14

The death toll from the remnants of Hurricane Ida in the Northeast is now at least 14, after five people died in a home in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

New Jersey Governor visits town hit by tornados

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is touring tornado-damaged homes and meeting with residents in Mullica Hill, New Jersey Thursday morning.

"This is an unspeakable, extraordinary event," Governor Murphy said. "This was a sadly tragic, historic 24 hours in New Jersey."

Governor Murphy said the southern part of the state was hit with tornados while the central and north parts of the state are dealing with "overwhelming flooding."

Another look at the damage in Mullica Hill, NJ . People are trying to save what they can. @CBSPhilly

— Jasmine Payoute (@jpayoute) September 2, 2021

He was thankful that there were no casualties and injuries in the south, but said "sadly more than a few folks passed away" in north and central New Jersey. He would not go into the details of the numbers of fatalities at this time.

Governor Murphy said he will "stay here and be by the side of residents and small business" while recovery efforts continue.

"Businesses are barely getting your feet back from the pandemic and now get whacked with this [tornado and flooding]," he said.

Governor Murphy will send an emergency declaration request to FEMA and President Joe Biden.

"That will be a game-changer if it is accorded in terms of getting infrastructure and clean up back up and running," he said.

I just spoke with @FEMA_Deanne and thanked her for the tremendous communication and offers of assistance from @fema. We will work tirelessly with our federal partners to meet the great needs of our homeowners, towns, and businesses in the wake of this storm.

— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) September 2, 2021

Murphy added that in the face of climate change, more funds will be invested into building up "resilient infrastructure."

"The world is changing. These storms are coming more frequently and more intensely," he said. "We have to change our infrastructure and our mindset to leap forward and get ahead of this."

Boat rescues underway in Pennsylvania

Water rescues are underway in Bridgeport, in Montgomery County Pennslyvania as rescue teams make their way down streets that have become rivers due to flooding.

Montgomery Co. officials say they have been “hammered” with ongoing water rescues in Bridgeport, Upper Providence, Upper Moreland, Upper Dublin and West Norriton. @FOX29philly

— 💎Dave Kinchen🇺🇸 (@DaveKinchenUSA) September 2, 2021

Residents trapped in their homes are being rescued from their roofs or top-floor windows by crews on boats while their homes and yards remain underwater.

Water rescues are underway in #MontcoPA after the Schuylkill River overflowed its banks after the remnants of #Ida slammed the region. Here is video of people being rescued from the roof of a flooded Bridgeport home. Here's the latest on the impacts:

— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) September 2, 2021

New Jersey trains and buses will experiences suspensions and delays due to flooding

All New Jersey Transit rail service remains suspended Thursday, with the exception of the Atlantic City Rail Line.

"Rail service will remain suspended until a full assessment of damages is completed and necessary inspections have been made," NJ Transit said in a tweet.

⚠️All rail service remains suspended with the exception of the Atlantic City Rail Line, which continues to operate. Rail service will remain suspended until a full assessment of damages is completed and necessary inspections have been made.

— NJ TRANSIT (@NJTRANSIT) September 2, 2021

Busses will continue to operate but state-wide delays, cancellations and detours are expected due to flooding and blocked roadways.

Schuylkill River in Philadelphia reaches historic levels, flooding into the city

The Schuylkill River is flooding into the streets of Philadelphia.

SCHUYLKILL RIVER OVERFLOWS: The Schuylkill River spilled over its banks Thursday morning in Philadelphia following a night of intense rain and damaging storms.


— FOX 29 (@FOX29philly) September 2, 2021

The river is approaching record levels of flooding. As of Thursday morning, the waters hit about 15.97 feet, the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management reported. The previous record of 17.2 feet was set in 1896, according to AccuWeather.

JUST IN 🚨 Schuylkill River flooding at 23d Street in Philadelphia

— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) September 2, 2021

Local news reports share footage of the river water engulfing the river banks and pushing into the streets of the city.

Center City 👀

— Christie Ileto (@Christie_Ileto) September 2, 2021

New York Gov. says rainfall from Ida "paralyzed" New York City

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the "unprecedented" rainfall from the remnants of Ida "paralyzed" New York City.

"This has been absolutely stunning on a scale, people were just caught off guard and so shocked," she told CNN Thursday. "The residents who thought they would safely be able to go down to their basements or take the trains that all of a sudden just, this absolutely unprecedented storm event changed everything. And New York City literally has been paralyzed."

I am declaring a state of emergency to help New Yorkers affected by tonight's storm.

Please stay off the roads and avoid all unnecessary travel.

— Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) September 2, 2021

Tens of thousands without power in the northeast after Ida sweeps through the region

Over 2 million people in the U.S. are without power Wednesday in the wake of Ida.

Here are the total number of customers with outages in the Northeast according to as of 8:30 a.m. The figures are updated every 10 minutes.

  • Pennsylvania: 97, 840
  • New Jersey: 60,362
  • New York: 40,551
  • Connecticut: 17,302
  • Massachusetts: 8,193
  • Maryland: 5,744
  • Delaware: 431
  • Rhode Island: 634

Death toll rises to at least 9

At least nine people have died in New York and New Jersey due to the flooding from Tropical Storm Ida, the Associated Press reported.

A New York City police spokesperson told the AP a total of eight people died when they became trapped in flooded basements.

At least one death was reported in New Jersey. Passaic Mayor Hector Lora said a 70-year-old man was swept away in the flooding.

"His family was rescued, they were all in the same car. Unfortunately, the car was overtaken by the waters, and the firefighters who were being dragged down under the vehicle were unable to get him out," Lora told WCBS-TV.

The rising costs of damage caused by extreme weather revealed

Data analyzed by Statista shows how the cost of weather events has risen by over $800 billion in the past decade compared to the previous 10 years.

Rising costs of weather damage
Data from Statista shows how the cost of weather events has risen significantly in the past decade Newsweek/Statista

WATCH: Terrified drivers react as tornado touches down in New Jersey

Central Park rainfall record smashed

Precisely 3.15 inches (8.91 centimeters) of rain in New York's Central Park in one hour on Wednesday night, the National Weather Service confirmed.

It far surpasses the 1.94 inches (4.92 centimeters) that fell in one hour during Tropical Storm Henri on the night of August 21, which was believed at the time to be the most ever recorded in the park.

Amtrak services across Northeastern states canceled

Early morning trains in and out of major cities in Pennsylvania and New York have all been halted due to the record rainfall, with tracks and stations submerged in floodwater.

Service Advisory: Due to severe weather with significant rainfall along the Northeast Corridor, all service between Philadelphia & Boston with an initial departure before 9am on Thursday, Sept. 2 is canceled. Additional service modifications as outlined:

— Amtrak Northeast (@AmtrakNECAlerts) September 2, 2021

UPDATE: Train 66 is terminating in Philadelphia (PHL). Customers currently on board can stay on board to return to their boarding station or wait in Philadelphia for the next available train to their destination.

— Amtrak Northeast (@AmtrakNECAlerts) September 2, 2021

Death toll increases to eight

A total of eight people have now died as a result of flash flooding and strong winds from Ida - up two in the past hour.

Ida moves north of NYC

Weather alerts have been put in place in the Orange and Ulster counties in New York.

The Wallkill River is expected to overflow and flood significant parts of the counties in the coming hours, with a warning in place until 11.20pm ET tonight.

President Biden to visit Louisiana tomorrow

The president will survey the aftermath of Hurricane Ida and speak with local and state leaders, the White House has confirmed, as well as deliver a speech later today outlining his administration's response to the storm.

Ida is now the fifth most powerful storm to strike the U.S. and has likely already caused tens of billions of dollars in flood, wind, and other damage, including to the electrical grid.

WATCH: New York City subway overwhelmed by flash floods

At least six killed in flash floods - reports

Four of those who died were in New York City while the remaining two were in New Jersey, reports NBC.

A state of emergency and a ban on non-emergency travel remains in place.

Flash flood warnings for eastern NYC

The alerts from the National Weather Service cover most of the Long Island area of the city.

They are in place until 11am ET.

Good morning and welcome to Newsweek's liveblog

The remnants of Hurricane Ida continue to batter mid-Atlantic states this morning as much of New York and New Jersey suffer extreme flash floods which have brought much of both states to a total standstill.

Follow Newsweek's liveblog throughout Thursday for all the latest.