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 0401 GMT (1201 HKT) September 3, 2021
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7:04 p.m. ET, September 2, 2021

At least 8 confirmed tornadoes hit the Northeast

From CNN's Taylor Ward

There were at least eight confirmed tornadoes in the Northeast on Wednesday, according to storm surveys conducted by the National Weather Service. 

Four tornadoes have been reported in Pennsylvania, including an EF-2 in Fort Washington, with winds up to 130 mph. 

Three tornadoes were confirmed in New Jersey, including one in Mullica Hill, although no other details were available yet. One tornado was also confirmed in southeast Massachusetts – an EF-0 with 75 mph winds in Dennis.

Some context: Some of the tornadoes have been confirmed, but details on the size and strength are not available yet. Other areas, like Maryland, have several preliminary tornado reports, but damage surveys have not been conducted.

 

7:30 p.m. ET, September 2, 2021

New Jersey governor pleads with residents: "Don't go near these waters"

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy described a “historic” disaster in his state today and pleaded with residents not to aggravate the situation by furthering endangering themselves in the receding floodwaters.

Murphy said first responders rescued a second round of people today after they made their way through the standing water. 

“My big plea is don’t try that,” he said, speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer today. “Don’t go near these waters, stay home, stay away.”

“It will be our long road, but we will get back on our feet together,” he added.

Murphy also clarified that none of the state’s 23 storm-related deaths were related to tornado warnings, saying he thinks some state residents might have taken the flood warnings less seriously than the tornado warnings.

“The tornado warnings came out just as the flood warnings came out,” Murphy said. “Everybody, when they got the tornado warning, went into their basement and I think there were too many people who thought that they could deal with flooding and sadly, some of them either in their homes or in their cars, lost their lives.”

6:20 p.m. ET, September 2, 2021

There are 44,000 customers without power in New Jersey, governor says

From CNN's Laura Ly

A closed road sign is seen on September 02, 2021 in Passaic, New Jersey.
A closed road sign is seen on September 02, 2021 in Passaic, New Jersey. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he spoke with President Biden and the Federal Emergency Management Agency's administrator, Deanne Criswell, Thursday about the storm damage in his state in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

“We’re doing everything we can to speed up the recovery process and I’m grateful for the communication and offers of assistance from FEMA, whose administrator I spoke with this morning, as well as with President Biden, with whom I also spoke this morning. And I deeply appreciate their support," Murphy said.

Murphy said he also toured the storm-damaged Mullica Hill neighborhood of Harrison, “where a devastating tornado tore through multiple houses, leveling some down to their foundation.” He said he plans to tour more storm-damaged neighborhoods later on Thursday and Friday. 

Murphy said that at the height of the storm, 93,000 customers were without power. As of Thursday evening, about 44,000 customers are still without power, he said.

7:05 p.m. ET, September 2, 2021

3 Jefferson Parish residents died from carbon monoxide-related exposure

From CNN’s Keith Allen and Rebekah Riess

The deaths of three Jefferson Parish residents as a result of carbon monoxide-related exposure in a home have been linked to Hurricane Ida, the Louisiana Department of Health said Thursday.

A 65-year-old woman from the same parish also drowned in floodwaters, the department said in tweets Thursday. CNN reported the Jefferson Parish drowning death on Tuesday.

According to CNN’s reporting, there are now 13 fatalities connected to Hurricane Ida in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Correction: An earlier version of this post included the wrong number of deaths connected to the storm. There are now 13 fatalities.

6:13 p.m. ET, September 2, 2021

More than 1,000 FEMA employees are providing hurricane relief in Louisiana and Mississippi

From CNN's Geneva Sands

Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, 55th Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was briefed by Col. Zachary Miller this morning, at the FEMA Joint Field Office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on USACE support of FEMA's Hurricane Ida emergency power, temporary roofing, temporary housing, infrastructure assessment, and debris removal missons.
Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, 55th Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was briefed by Col. Zachary Miller this morning, at the FEMA Joint Field Office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on USACE support of FEMA's Hurricane Ida emergency power, temporary roofing, temporary housing, infrastructure assessment, and debris removal missons. (U.S. Army National Guard/ZUMA Press)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has more than 1,100 employees currently supporting the response to Hurricane Ida in Louisiana and Mississippi, officials said on a call with reporters Thursday afternoon. 

When asked about the agency's ability to support both Louisiana and the northeastern states battered by rainfall, Matthew Payne, acting deputy assistant administrator for FEMA's response operations division, said, "we leaned very far forward in our preparations prior to the storm making landfall."

Payne said FEMA is "actively working to meet the needs" of people across multiple states amid several challenging situations, confirming that the agency is also prepared to support states impacted by the remnants of Hurricane Ida in the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast.

More support: There are also more than 2,000 Red Cross volunteers active today across the country, including those that are sheltering over 500 people in the Northeast across seven states, Brad Kieserman, vice president of operations and logistics at the American Red Cross, said on the call.

Its efforts include sheltering nearly 3,500 people in Louisiana and providing support in multiple parishes.

As of Thursday morning, 13 hospitals were evacuated in Louisiana, according to Payne. Six were fully evacuated and five were previously evacuated but are open, he said, adding that they were still waiting for updates on two hospitals. All of the hospitals that were evacuated were evacuated to locations within the state.

FEMA is also providing several ambulances to Mississippi, along with Louisiana. There is also a 250-bed federal medical shelter in Alexandria, Louisiana.

As of Thursday afternoon, FEMA had 240,000 applicants for disaster assistance from the state of Louisiana, FEMA director of the Individual Assistance Division Chris Smith said. 

FEMA has awarded nearly $93 million in individual assistance in Louisiana.

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.