At least four people died in Louisiana from carbon monoxide poisoning, two died in Mississippi when a highway collapsed due to excessive rain, and a dozen of people were killed when their vehicles were washed away by floodwaters – one of them a Connecticut state trooper.
Many deaths occurred in flooded apartments in New York, including a family of three, including a toddler, who were unable to evacuate before the water stormed into their house.
• 23 deaths in New Jersey
• 16 deaths in New York
• 11 deaths in Louisiana
• Two deaths in Mississippi
• Two deaths in Alabama
• Two deaths in Pennsylvania
• One death in Maryland
• One death in Connecticut
Sophy Liu attempted to block the water from entering her first-floor apartment with towels and garbage bags, but it reached to her chest within half an hour.
She managed to flee with her son, who was protected by a life jacket and an inflatable swimming ring.
Although the front door was jammed, she said, friends were able to unlock it from the outside.
The National Weather Service said that rainfall in New York’s Central Park shattered a 94-year record, while Newark, New Jersey, destroyed a 62-year record.
Hundreds of vehicles were deserted on flooded roadways, trash floated in the water, and the city’s subway tunnels were flooded, trapping at least 17 trains.
Although video footage showed passengers standing on railway carriage seats as the water surged, NBC reported that 835 people were recovered safely.
Ida was the sixth most powerful storm to strike the United States when it made landfall as a hurricane in Louisiana on Sunday, causing tens of billions of dollars in damage.
It caused havoc throughout the Gulf Coast after being downgraded to a tropical storm, bringing flooding and at least ten tornadoes, including one with winds of 150 miles per hour that destroyed homes in Mullica Hill, New Jersey.
Jeanine Zubrzycki, 33, sheltered in the basement with her three children as their home rocked. “It just came through and ripped… and then you could just hear people crying,” she explained.
Similar weather has occurred in the aftermath of previous hurricanes, but experts believe the issue has been exacerbated by climate change, as warmer air contains more rain.
The fact that cities have a higher concentration of concrete also contributed, as concrete prevents water from being absorbed by the earth.
Across the United States, one million houses have been left without electricity, displacing thousands of people.
Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images