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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11:23 a.m. ET, September 2, 2021

New York City mayor in the storm's aftermath: "People are going through hell"


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the deadly flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Ida a "wake-up call" and said officials need to alter the way they approach the "suddenness, the brutality of storms now."

De Blasio referenced the back-to-back storms — first the rain dumped less than two weeks ago by Henri and now the flooding from Ida — the city has endured.

"This is the biggest wake-up call we could possibly get. We're going to have do a lot of things differently and quickly," he said. "What we have to recognize is the suddenness, the brutality of storms now. It is different."

De Blasio called Ida a "horrifying storm last night, unlike anything we have seen before," and he thanked the first responders who rescued people yesterday. He also acknowledged the rescue and clean up work still to be done.

"People are going through hell," he said. "They need help."

11:10 a.m. ET, September 2, 2021

Two-thirds of gas stations in New Orleans and Baton Rouge don't have gas

From CNN's Matt Egan

Motorists wait in line for gas in New Orleans on August 31.
Motorists wait in line for gas in New Orleans on August 31. (Eric Gay/AP)

Gas station outages are mounting in Louisiana’s two biggest cities as the region struggles to recover from Hurricane Ida.

As of Thursday morning, a staggering 65.8% of the gas stations in Baton Rouge and 65.2% in New Orleans don’t have gas, according to outage reports compiled by GasBuddy. About one-third (33.7%) of the gas stations in Lafayette are similarly dry.

All of these figures are slightly higher than GasBuddy’s last update late Wednesday afternoon.

Analysts said these gas station outages are being driven by a combination of spiking demand as people drive around out of the region, and supply headaches caused by power outages. For example, tanker truck drivers often can’t fill up if there is no power at terminal racks that dispense fuel at refineries.

“No power, no gas. And that extends beyond the gas stations to petroleum terminals. It’s not just gravity that dispenses the gasoline,” said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service.

Drivers who find gas stations with fuel face very long lines that can last eight or nine hours. But industry executives urged residents to resist the urge to panic buy.

“This is not the time to hoard fuel and fill up every car and any available gas can or container,” said Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives at the National Association of Convenience Stores. “The system is currently stressed and will recover more quickly with normal buying patterns.”

Meanwhile, prices at the pump continue to creep higher. The national average hit $3.183 on Thursday, up from $3.146 a week ago, according to AAA.

10:51 a.m. ET, September 2, 2021

NOW: New York governor and New York City mayor give update on deadly flooding

From CNN's Jennifer Gray, Brandon Miller and Taylor Ward

(State of New York)
(State of New York)

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are giving an update on the massive flooding that hit the state overnight.

A state of emergency was declared early Thursday morning as the Northeast region was slammed by torrential rain from the remnants of Ida, causing heavy flooding and reports of numerous water rescues.

In New York City, a travel ban was implemented until 5 a.m. ET, according to an emergency alert sent by Notify NYC. All non-emergency vehicles must stay off the road, the alert said.

Almost all the city subway lines were suspended due to flooding. The Metropolitan Transit Authority website said that only the "7" line and the Staten Island Railway were operating, with delays.

Rescuers have been removing people from flooded roadways and subways across New York City, the New York Fire Department said Thursday morning.

11:06 a.m. ET, September 2, 2021

Boat rescues underway in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, after Ida's remnants cause massive flooding

People are rescued in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, on September 2.
People are rescued in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, on September 2. WPVI

Aerial footage from WPVI showed rescue efforts underway in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, on streets that have become rivers along the Schuylkill River.

Bridgeport Borough is a town of about 4,600 residents, according to its website, and is located about 18 miles from Philadelphia.

Keith Truman, Bridgeport Borough manager, told CNN they have rescued at least 50 residents since last night's flooding through multi-jurisdictional emergency management and first responders.

Truman said rescue efforts are ongoing, and that at this point there are only minor injuries reported and no reported casualties. He noted, however, that first responders still need to go through more areas.

"In terms of a sense of how many more are out there, we, I don't know if I have a firm number ascertained, but at this point, we do have a large apartment building that still needs to be evacuated and they've been instructed to shelter in place," he said. "And we still have a few more blocks of the residential area."

CNN reported earlier today that the portion of Schuylkill River in Philadelphia rose 12 feet in just 8 hours between 4 p.m. ET and midnight ET. The forecast shows that the river could rise a few more feet, up to 18 feet, but levels appear to be leveling out some in the last hour or two, so it might not reach that high. 

Watch the rescue efforts taking place moments ago in Bridgeport:

10:28 a.m. ET, September 2, 2021

Carnival Cruise Line cancels cruise out of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Ida

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos

Carnival Cruise Line said it has canceled a cruise set to set sail out of New Orleans on Sunday due to Hurricane Ida impacts. 

“Due to the impact of Hurricane Ida on the New Orleans area and following a post-storm assessment by local officials, we unfortunately must cancel Carnival Glory’s Sept. 5 sailing from New Orleans,” the company said in an email to CNN Thursday. 

Carnival said this voyage would have been the first from this port since their pause in operations due to Covid-19. The channel to cruise terminal remains closed at this time, the email said. 

Guests will receive a full refund and those with flexibility are being urged to consider transferring their reservation to the Carnival Vista, which is scheduled to depart from Galveston, Texas, on Sept. 4. 

“We are very sorry for this disruption to our guests’ vacation plans and we will keep those affected by the storm in our thoughts and prayers,” the company said. 

11:11 a.m. ET, September 2, 2021

At least 10 dead in Northeast as impact of flooding continues

From CNN's Jennifer Henderson

There have been at least 10 deaths spanning Maryland, New York, and New Jersey, in the wake of storm flooding.

Montgomery County Police in Maryland say 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.

Additionally, the “unaccounted for” person at an apartment complex has been accounted after Montgomery County Police spoke with the individual and confirmed that person was out-of-state visiting relatives, Shiera Goff, director of public information for Montgomery County Department of Police, told CNN Thursday morning.

Eight people were reported dead in New York, and one person was reported dead in New Jersey, according to previous reporting.

10:17 a.m. ET, September 2, 2021

New York's Westchester County issues state of emergency and suspends all public transportation

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

First responders pull residents in a boat as they rescue people trapped by floodwaters in Mamaroneck, New York, on September 2.
First responders pull residents in a boat as they rescue people trapped by floodwaters in Mamaroneck, New York, on September 2. Mike Segar/Reuters

New York's Westchester County officials issued a state of emergency after what officials described as a "major water event."

All public transportation is suspended in the county.

Many of the major roads supporting Westchester border rivers and bodies of water, including the Saw Mill Parkway and the Bronx River Parkway, and “they almost all flooded and were impassable,” the county's communications director Catherine Cioffi said. She noted that there were a number of stranded cars.

“Areas of the county that don’t flood, flooded,” Cioffi said, including downtown Chappaqua.

The Sound Shore community, which faces the Long Island Sound, got hit “really hard,” she said. 

Rescues happened overnight in Mamaroneck, New York, she said.

The mass vaccination site in White Plains is completely flooded and is closed, she added.

10:23 a.m. ET, September 2, 2021

Louisiana's Grand Isle mayor says Ida devastation "looks like bombs went off"

From CNN’s Amanda Watts

Damage is seen in Grand Isle, Louisiana.
Damage is seen in Grand Isle, Louisiana. Jefferson Parish

Jefferson Parish has posted new drone video showing the devastation in Grand Isle, Louisiana, after Hurricane Ida slammed into the area on Sunday. 

Speaking with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Wednesday evening, Grand Isle Mayor David Camardelle said the seven-mile long barrier island currently has no fresh water, gas, electricity or food. “It looks like bombs went off on this island,” he said. 


Some background: Grand Isle is Louisiana's last remaining inhabited barrier island at the southern tip of the state. It bore the brunt of Hurricane Ida and was devastated by the Category 4 storm's high winds, rain and storm surge that made landfall Sunday.

Even before Ida, the narrow isle has been increasingly under threat due to rising sea levels and sinking land

On Tuesday, a CNN crew visited the island to find utter devastation: homes destroyed and vehicles still under floodwaters, although there were no reports of deaths or injuries due to a mandatory evacuation.

9:25 a.m. ET, September 2, 2021

Philadelphia's Schuylkill River rose nearly 2 feet above major flood stage 

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

The city of Philadelphia is reeling after its Schuylkill River rose 2 feet above a major flood stage.

Our CNN weather team reports the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia was at 15.88 feet at 8 a.m. ET today. That is almost 2 feet above the major flood stage, which is 14 feet.

The river rose 12 feet in only 8 hours between 4 p.m. ET and midnight ET.

The forecast shows that the river could rise a few more feet, up to 18 feet, but levels appear to be leveling out some in the last hour or two so it might not reach that high. 

Philadelphia's transport system, SEPTA, tweeted that widespread flooding throughout the system is causes service delays and cancellations.

The city tweeted that city buildings will be closed today and encouraged employees who can work from home to do so. 

“The City continues to manage the storm damage and flooding impacts from the remnants of Hurricane Ida,” they tweeted through verified media. 

There is also a coastal flood warning from 7 a.m. ET until 2 p.m. ET for the Delaware River, Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management said.