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Amid No Power, Inundated Roads & Subways, Storm Kills 46; NY Mayor Says ‘Biggest Wake Up Call’

Flash flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida has killed at least 46 people in four northeastern US states till Thursday. The toll includes several who perished in basements during the devastating weather event that authorities blame to climate change.

As water cascaded down subways, streets, and roads turning them into rivers with record rainfall in New York City, authorities were prompted to issue a flash flood emergency warning.

How is New York Grappling with Flash Floods?

So far, Ida has left at least scores of people dead. Following the devastating flash floods, the city’s mayor has urged everyone to see it as “the biggest wake-up call we could possibly get.”

“We are in a new world now let’s be blunt,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN, adding that the intensity and frequency of storms are rising and the US is going to have to do a lot of things ‘differently’ and ‘quickly.’ Taking cognizance of the matter, the White House has said that President Joe Biden has approved an emergency declaration for New York and New Jersey due to the emergency conditions.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul told CNN, that she wants answers, “I want to know who knew what when and what could have been done differently because New Yorkers deserve to know what we’re doing to learn from this event and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

No Power, No Water, No Essentials

Residents of Louisiana sweltered in the aftermath of hurricane Ida complaining of no electricity, no tap water, precious gasoline and no clear idea of when things might improve. Only a few gas stations had fuel and generator power to pump it. After the hurricane left a trail of devastation, neighbors shared generators and borrowed buckets of swimming pool water to bathe or to flush toilets.

Associated Press reported, more than one million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi, including all of New Orleans were left without power when Ida slammed the electric grid on Sunday. With its 150 mph (240 kph) winds, it toppled a major transmission tower and knocking out thousands of miles of lines and hundreds of substations. Estimated 25,000-plus utility workers labored to restore electricity, but officials said it could take weeks.

With water treatment plants overwhelmed by floodwaters or crippled by power outages, some places were also facing shortages of drinking water. About 441,000 people in 17 parishes had no water, and an additional 319,000 were under boil-water advisories, federal officials said.

Ida first made landfall on Sunday on the Gulf Coast with the strength of a Category 4 hurricane and hit the northeast with a massive punch when it barreled on Wednesday into the densely populated Northeast. Not only in New York, but four deaths were also reported in Pennsylvania and one each in Maryland, Connecticut and Virginia.

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