Ida Sent 75 Million Gallons of Water Into NY Subway System, Caused $75M in Damages

The New York City subway system was severely flooded following Ida, causing $75 million in damages, according to MTA acting Chairman Janno Lieber.

While speaking to reporters after the MTA's board meeting on Wednesday, Lieber said that initial estimates sent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were "in the $75 to $100 million range."

Lieber noted that the MTA removed 75 million gallons of water from the city's subway system following the storm.

"Usually these numbers creep up as you start to understand the secondary impacts of whatever took place," Lieber said during the press conference.

Lieber also said that the city's street-level "storm sewer system" is "insufficient to some of these flash floods that climate change appears to be bringing."

"We were pumping like crazy, and the sewer system, the storm sewer system, couldn't take more water," Lieber said. "We're going to take some actions with the city, but there also needs to be these long-term investments in street-level drainage."

Earlier this month, New York City was hit by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, which made landfall in the Gulf Coast as a Category 4 storm. The storm brought widespread destruction to the city and surrounding states, causing at least nine deaths.

Numerous photos and videos posted across social media showed the flooding seen in the city's subway systems.

In a video posted to Twitter by user TRT World, rainwater can be seen causing severe flooding in the city's subway system, while some other videos showed the floodwaters rushing down subway station stairs.

Flash floods triggered by torrential rains left subway stations underwater in New York City

— TRT World (@trtworld) September 2, 2021

🦉Waterfall down the stairs at 145th Street station, 1 Train, in #Manhattan, #NYC. Flash flood warnings are in effect until 11:30 pm Local Time.🧐

— Dr. Rofina Subash, VJ (@rj_rofina) September 2, 2021

The flooding caused most of the city's subway lines to suspend services and it took until September 7, more than two full days after the storm hit, for the city to restore service to all of the subway lines.

Shortly after the storm brought widespread damage to New York, Governor Kathy Hochul said that she will investigate the MTA's response to Ida.

"We deal with the immediate situation. Then I start asking the questions. Did we have enough warning? Did we let people know? Should we shut down subways earlier? Was there a breakdown in communication with the weather systems? Were we prepared enough?" Hochul said during a press conference on September 2. "I am going to intensely ask those questions, get the answers, and when I get that, I will share that with the public because every crisis is an opportunity to learn and to improve and to be more prepared for the next one."

Newsweek was directed to Lieber's remarks during the press conference after reaching out to the MTA for comment.

Ida flooding
Acting MTA Chairman Janno Lieber said on Wednesday that flooding from Ida in New York City's subway system caused $75 million in damages. Above, Commuters walk into a flooded 3rd Avenue / 149th st subway station and disrupted service due to extremely heavy rainfall from the remnants of Hurricane Ida on September 2, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York City. David Dee Delgado/Getty