Ida triggers massive flooding across Northeast

By Melissa Mahtani, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Joshua Berlinger, Amy Woodyatt, Aditi Sangal, Adam Renton and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:01 AM ET, Fri September 3, 2021
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5:25 p.m. ET, September 2, 2021

At least 23 New Jersey residents died in the storm, governor says

From CNN's Laura Ly

A car flooded on a local street as a result of the remnants of Hurricane Ida is seen in Somerville, New Jersey. Thursday, September 2.
A car flooded on a local street as a result of the remnants of Hurricane Ida is seen in Somerville, New Jersey. Thursday, September 2. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP)

At least 23 New Jersey residents died in the storm, Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday.

Murphy said the majority of the storm-related deaths were people who were caught in their vehicles by flooding and were “overtaken by the water.”

“Our thoughts and deepest prayers are with their family members,” Murphy said.
5:19 p.m. ET, September 2, 2021

Connecticut state trooper died after being swept up in floodwaters

From CNN's Julian Cummings

A state trooper died after being swept away by floodwaters in Woodbury, Connecticut, has died, said Col. Stavros Mellekas of the Connecticut State Police.

The trooper who has not been identified responded to reports of a missing person due to the flooding in Woodbury, Connecticut, at 4 a.m. ET. He was carried away by the rising waters when he arrived on the scene.  

After a search and rescue, he was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital via helicopter and died en route. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

He was a member of the Connecticut State Police for more than 26 years, according to Mellekas.

“He was one of the senior sergeants on the state police: Well respected and it’s just a tragedy," Mellekas said.

4:53 p.m. ET, September 2, 2021

Alabama National Guard will deploy about 150 military police to Louisiana

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has authorized the Alabama National Guard to deploy approximately 150 military police to Louisiana to aid the state following the damage left behind by Hurricane Ida, according to a release from the governor’s office Thursday.

“The good men and women of the Alabama National Guard always stand ready to assist their fellow Alabamians and our country, when needed. Hurricane Ida took a significant toll on our neighbors to the west, particularly in Louisiana, which is where our folks are being requested to help. Alabama continues to offer any relief we can provide,” Ivey said.

This comes after Ivey issued a supplemental state of emergency this morning to assist evacuees currently in Alabama.

4:41 p.m. ET, September 2, 2021

Electrical company estimates Sept. 8 power restoration for Baton Rouge

From CNN’s Keith Allen

Officials with the major regional electric utility in Louisiana on Thursday said its hopes to have all damage assessments complete today, at which point they will be able to begin providing restoration estimates for areas of the state that have been without power since Hurricane Ida slammed into the region on Sunday.

Entergy completed its first restoration estimate today, and Entergy Louisiana president and CEO Phillip May said the company expects to restore power to “the majority” of customers in greater Baton Rouge area who can take power by Sept. 8.  

By the numbers: Entergy says they’ve restored power to approximately 137,000 customers statewide in Louisiana, according to a company press release

The website PowerOutage.US reported that there are still 928,895 outages across the state of Louisiana.

Sources of power have been brought back to St. Charles Parish and parts of Jefferson Parish for the first time, May said in a Thursday briefing posted on the company’s official website.

In New Orleans, power has been restored to parts of uptown, midtown, the Central Business District and additional neighborhoods in New Orleans East and the Carrollton area, as well as the Superdome, Entergy New Orleans president and CEO Deanna Rodriguez said at Thursday’s briefing. 

Those additional neighborhoods in New Orleans were brought back online after Entergy crews restored the second of eight transmission lines into the city, Rodriguez said.

“We are in close coordination with the city to identify critical locations in need of backup generation to power up first responders and community shelters,” Rodriguez said.
3:45 p.m. ET, September 2, 2021

New Orleans father on Hurricane Ida's aftermath: "We can't live like this"

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

A New Orleans father described the difficult situation he and his family are facing following the damage caused by Hurricane Ida.

The father and his family are trying their best with the supplies they have and using their car for relief from the heat.

"It has been kind of hard and you know, with a three-month-old baby and no water, no lights, nothing, it ain't easy. We wake up every morning, all morning, crying all day... So it be a little difficult," the father told CNN's Adrienne Broaddus, while holding his baby inside his car at a gas station.

Asked about what his family is doing to make sure they have enough supplies, like food, water and milk, the father said that they had bought supplies ahead of the storm, but "everything is running out now."

"So, 9 out of 10, we're going to have to either find somewhere else to go or leave from New Orleans because we can't live like this," he said.

More than 977,000 homes and businesses in Louisiana were without power Wednesday, according to PowerOutage.US. By Wednesday morning, power had been restored in small portions of eastern and central New Orleans, a map from energy provider Entergy New Orleans showed.

CNN's Madeline Holcombe and Jason Hanna contributed reporting to this post. 

3:32 p.m. ET, September 2, 2021

Water seen pouring into New York subway station Wednesday night

From CNN's David Williams

Passengers who were stranded on subway stations due to Wednesday night's flooding in New York City continue to share images and videos of their commutes. 

Robert Hedglin captured videos of his challenging trip home from work Wednesday evening thanks to Hurricane Ida.

He said he was stuck underground for more than an hour after his train stopped between the 59th Street and Lexington stops.

Hedglin said he couldn’t get a cab or a bus, so he stopped at a bar to get a drink and dry off until about 12:30 a.m. ET.

See the videos:

3:20 p.m. ET, September 2, 2021

Biden administration taps emergency oil stockpile while Louisiana gas crisis persists

From CNN's Matt Egan

The Energy Department announced Thursday it will release 1.5 million barrels of crude oil from the nation’s emergency stockpile of oil.

The decision to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or SPR, comes as two-thirds of the gas stations in New Orleans and Baton Rouge are out of gasoline in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. 

This will “alleviate any logistical issues of moving crude oil within areas affected by Hurricane Ida to ensure the region has access to fuel as quickly as possible,” the Energy Department said in a statement.

Some context: The SPR, a complex of deep underground storage caverns in the Gulf Coast holding more than 600 million barrels of crude, is reserved for emergency situations – and the aftermath of Hurricane Ida appears to be one of those.

The Energy Department said it has agreed to conduct an exchange with ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge facility. In an exchange, an oil refiner borrows SPR crude for a short period of time due to “exigent circumstances” and later replaces it in full, along with a premium, according to the agency’s website.

The Energy Department said it is encouraging refiners to prioritize gasoline to the affected region and remains committed to supporting those efforts through options including the SPR.

2:58 p.m. ET, September 2, 2021

White House provides additional details about Biden's trip to Louisiana tomorrow

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday provided some new details about President Biden’s trip to Louisiana on Friday to survey damage caused by Hurricane Ida.

“The President will travel to New Orleans to survey storm damage from the hurricane. He’ll meet with state and local leaders, I would expect that will include the governor and the mayor, from impacted communities. And beyond that, we’re still finalizing all the details which we’ll, hopefully, have more later tonight on,” Psaki said during the press briefing.

She cautioned that details are “still being finalized.”

Earlier in the briefing: Psaki detailed federal efforts underway to support individuals impacted by the storm.

“In Louisiana, disaster survivor assistance teams arrived today to support cooling stations in New Orleans and St. John the Baptist parish,” Psaki said.

She also said FEMA is working to “reduce barriers that have long prevented many disaster survivors, particularly Black Americans from receiving disaster assistance by expanding the type of legal documentation for homeowners and renters to prove ownership or occupancy.”

In addition, she said, “mobile emergency response support assets are deployed” and “as of today, roughly 50,000 households in Louisiana have already received a one-time payment from FEMA to support critical needs.”

2:35 p.m. ET, September 2, 2021

Here's a state-by-state look at Ida's destruction, from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast

Hurricane Ida's remnants drenched the Northeast last night, causing dangerous flash floods and tornadoes across several states.

Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania are reporting deaths from the storm, and search and rescue and clean up efforts are underway today. Meanwhile, parts of Louisiana — where Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane earlier this week — could be without power for weeks because of the storm.

Here's a state-by-state look at Ida's aftermath:

A motorist drives on a flooded expressway in Brooklyn, New York, early on Thursday, September 2, as the remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through the area.
A motorist drives on a flooded expressway in Brooklyn, New York, early on Thursday, September 2, as the remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through the area. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

New York

  • There have been at least 13 storm-related storm deaths in the state, according to officials.
  • New York declared a state of emergency early today, and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she spoke with President Biden, who “guaranteed” full support in the wake of a “devastating” and “record-shattering” storm.
  • In New York City, almost all the city subway lines were suspended due to the flooding. The Metropolitan Transit Authority website said that only the "7" line and the Staten Island Railway were operating with delays.

A United Automatic Fire Sprinkler employee helps clean up on September 2 after the business flooded in Woodland Park, New Jersey.
A United Automatic Fire Sprinkler employee helps clean up on September 2 after the business flooded in Woodland Park, New Jersey. (Seth Wenig/AP)

New Jersey

  • At least six storm-related deaths have been reported across the state.
  • At least 25 homes in Mullica Hill were completely or partially destroyed and are currently uninhabitable, according to a police lieutenant.
  • Gov. Phil Murphy also declared a state of emergency, urging residents to "stay off the roads, stay home, and stay safe."

A person walks in floodwaters in Philadelphia on September 2.
A person walks in floodwaters in Philadelphia on September 2. (Matt Rourke/AP)

Pennsylvania

  • Three storm-related deaths are currently being investigated in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, a county official said.
  • Dozens of people in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, were rescued from floodwaters, Borough Manager Keith Truman said Thursday.
  • The city of Philadelphia is reeling after its Schuylkill River rose 2 feet above a major flood stage.

A worker surveys damage in Annapolis, Maryland, on September 1.
A worker surveys damage in Annapolis, Maryland, on September 1. (Susan Walsh/AP)

Maryland

  • Maryland Montgomery County Police said while final autopsy is pending, the death of a 19-year-old found dead after an apartment complex flooded Wednesday can be preliminarily attributed to the storm.

Tiffany Miller embraces her daughter Desilynn, left, and godchild Charleigh after the family returned to their destroyed home in Golden Meadow, Louisiana, on Wednesday, September 1.
Tiffany Miller embraces her daughter Desilynn, left, and godchild Charleigh after the family returned to their destroyed home in Golden Meadow, Louisiana, on Wednesday, September 1. (Adrees Latif/Reuters)

Louisiana

  • While the state is now four days out from Ida's Sunday landfall, parts of the state are still reeling from the hurricane.
  • Millions of Gulf Coast residents who survived Ida's devastating winds and deluge of rain face a new danger — widespread power outages that are expected to last for weeks, coupled with a period of excessive heat.
  • Some “key areas” along the Mississippi River and in the Port of New Orleans remain closed following Hurricane Ida, the US Coast Guard said Thursday. 

In pictures: You can see more of how Ida's remnants wreaked havoc in the Northeast here.