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Ida death toll nears 50 as flooding pounds Northeast states; 25 dead in New Jersey, 6 missing

Hurricane Ida
A man walks through a flooded Van Buren Street on Sept. 2, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. |

Nearly 50 people across multiple states have died due to flooding and extreme weather conditions in the Northeast United States caused by heavy rainfall from the remains of Hurricane Ida. 

In New Jersey, at least 25 people have died, most of whom were caught in their vehicles by the flooding, Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday morning. The Garden State has the most loss of life from the storm that made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday and moved northward over the week. 

The extreme weather from the storm system has resulted in fatalities in Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Mississippi and Louisiana. 

According to The Associated Press, the death toll rose to 49 throughout the Northeast on Friday.

Murphy said on the "TODAY" show Friday morning that at least six people are missing across the state and expects that the death toll in his state will likely increase. 

"While the weather may be good and while the floodwaters may have receded, we are still not out of the woods," he said. "We still have a lot of damage that we are dealing with; we still have floodwaters that are significantly higher than normal. ... We are still in this thing. Folks need to take this seriously."

"We mourn the loss of those lives," Murphy added. "We are going to clean up. We are going to stay together. We'll get back on our feet, but it may be a long road." 

The storm system caused massive flooding, considered by many to be unprecedented in certain areas. New York City reported flooding in homes, streets and parts of its subway system. 

At least 13 people died in New York City because of the storm, according to reports. Most in New York City who died were inside homes in Queens and Brooklyn, the New York Times reports. They ranged in age from 2 to 86.

WABC reports that authorities in New York had to perform 69 water rescues and 166 road rescues. Almost 500 vehicles were abandoned throughout the city. 

New York City Council Member Justin Brannan took to Twitter on Wednesday, describing the natural disaster hitting the area as “a biblical amount of rain.”

“There isn't a sewer system on the planet that can handle this much water at this rate – certainly not our ancient sewers here in New York City, some of which are still made of brick,” he tweeted.

President Joe Biden approved the emergency declarations of New York and New Jersey on Thursday in response to the Ida flooding, allowing federal aid for the states.

In Louisiana, where Ida made landfall with winds up to 150 miles per hour, as many as 1 million homes and businesses lost power. At least two people died in Louisiana as a result of the storm and many were displaced. 

“We’ve suffered flooding before. We suffered storms before. But I’ve never seen water like this in my life. It just hit us in the worst way possible and it was such a massive storm that it just totally devastated us,” Mayor Tim Kerner of Jean Lafitte stated earlier this week. 

In neighboring Mississippi, at least two people were killed and at least 10 people injured when a portion of Highway 26 collapsed Monday night as Ida made its way through the state, according to the Mississippi Clarion-Ledger

In Maryland, reports indicate that a teenager in Rockville died while trying to help save his mother from floodwaters. 

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

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