Sept. 2, 2021 By Allie Griffin
At least eight people in Queens died Wednesday night after the remnants of Hurricane Ida brought New York City to halt with record-breaking rainfall and flooding.
Seven people — who ranged in age from two- to 86-years-old — died as floods overcame their basement-level homes in Queens Wednesday, according to the NYPD. An eighth person died in a car on the Grand Central Parkway.
The deaths came as Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency at about 11:30 p.m. and nearly all of the city’s subway system was shuttered.
Nine New Yorkers died in the storm over the course of the night. Eight of the nine deaths were in Queens and the ninth was in Brooklyn.
We are seeing way too many reports of water rescues and stranded motorists. Do not drive through flooded roadways. You do not know how deep the water is and it is too dangerous. Turn Around Don’t Drown.
— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) September 2, 2021
The youngest victim was a two-year-old boy in Woodside.
Officers responded to a 911 call for flooding at a home on 64th Street near Laurel Hill Boulevard at 10 p.m. They found the toddler, a 50-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman unresponsive inside the home. The three were pronounced dead at the scene.
About 40 minutes later, police responded to another report of flooding at a co-op building in Forest Hills. Officers found an unconscious 48-year-old woman inside the Fairview Cooperative Residence.
EMS transported the woman to Forest Hills Hospital, where she pronounced deceased.
Queens Boulevard in Maspeth/Corona is a literal river at the moment. Bus fully flooded driving through, multiple cars stuck in the water. Absolutely insane. pic.twitter.com/LuSL9uWCEl
— Joe English (@JoeEEnglish) September 2, 2021
Police rushed to another flood emergency in a Jamaica home at 11:15 p.m. Officers entered a home on 183rd Street near 90th Avenue and found two people, a 43-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man, unconscious. The 22-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene and the woman was taken to Queens General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead as well.
Just before midnight, another 911 call came in for flooding at a home in Elmhurst. Officers found an unconscious 86-year-old woman inside the home on 84th Street near 56th Avenue. EMS pronounced the woman dead at the scene.
really bad flooding on queens blvd and broadway in elmhurst 😬 pic.twitter.com/TGJrmiHHX6
— victoria (@mamastringbeans) September 2, 2021
Federal, state and city officials gathered outside the Jamaica home where the 43-year-old woman and her 22-year-old son were found to offer their condolences and provide an update on the storm damage Thursday morning.
“This is absolutely devastating and my heart reaches out to each and everyone on this block and in this family,” Rep. Gregory Meeks said. “A mother [and] a son [are] gone from us because of climate change and this record storm.”
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said an eighth victim was found in the backseat of a car on the Grand Central Parkway Thursday morning.
The NYPD has not yet released the identities of any of the storm victims.
“Our hearts ache for the lives lost in last night’s storm. Please keep them and their loved ones in your thoughts today,” de Blasio said in a tweet. “They were our fellow New Yorkers and to their families, your city will be their [sic] for you in the days ahead.”
— pdtv (@PDTV3) September 2, 2021
Many leaders said the impact of climate change in creating the record-shattering storm could not be overlooked.
Wednesday’s rainfall broke a city record that had just been broken less than two weeks ago with Hurricane Henri. It was the largest amount of rain to fall within one hour in the city’s history. In one hour, 3.15 inches of rain fell in Central Park.
Videos posted to social media showed streets turning into rivers with floating cars, water rushing into apartment buildings and subway stations, and passengers standing on seats in flooded city buses.