Sep 22, 2021

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After wreaking havoc as the second most damaging hurricane to hit Louisianna, Ida moved north and devastated the northeast on Wednesday. Ida was the third tropical system in as many weeks to soak the Northeastern United States, after Fred and Henri, which left the soil saturated and at greater risk of flooding. Widespread flooding shut down much of the New York City Subway system as well as large portions of the NJ Transit, Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North Railroad commuter rail systems and Amtrak intercity services. 

The storm produced multiple destructive tornadoes as it moved into the region. States of emergency were declared in New York, including in New York City, as well as in New Jersey. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont also declared a State of Emergency for the entire state following widespread flooding.

Wednesday night was the first time the National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for New York City, where officials said the storm was responsible for at least 13 deaths.

As of September 2, 56 direct deaths have been confirmed in relation to Ida: 23 in New Jersey, 16 in New York, 7 in Louisiana, 5 in Pennsylvania, 2 in Mississippi, 1 in Maryland, 1 in Virginia, and 1 in Connecticut.


New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted that of the 23 deaths in his state, most were people who “got caught in their vehicles by flooding and were overtaken by the water. Our prayers are with their family members.”

Yeshiva World News identified one of the fatalities from the flooding as Rabbi Shmuel Dovid Weissmandel, 69, of Mount Kisco, New York.

Rabbi Weissmandel contacted his family members after he was caught in the floods while driving home, the report said. Rescue teams found him lifeless in his car. The report said that it remained unclear whether he died from the floods or a heart attack.

Normally tasked with saving lives, United Hatzalah members rescued several Torah scrolls from a flooded synagogue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.