Hurricane Ida: 44 dead as flash floods drown US states
New Delhi : Hurricane Ida killed at least 44 people in the New York area, including several who perished in basements.
Record rainfall, which prompted an unprecedented flash flood emergency warning for New York City, turned streets into rivers and shut down subway services as water cascaded down platforms onto tracks.
Hundreds of flights were cancelled at LaGuardia and JFK airports, as well as at Newark, where video showed a terminal inundated by rainwater.
"We're all in this together. The nation is ready to help," President Joe Biden said ahead of a trip on Friday to the southern state of Louisiana, where Ida earlier destroyed buildings and left more than a million homes without power.
Flooding closed major roads across New Jersey and New York boroughs including Manhattan, The Bronx and Queens, submerging cars and forcing the fire department to rescue hundreds of people.
At least 23 people died in New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy told reporters.
"The majority of these deaths were individuals who got caught in their vehicles," he said.
A state trooper died in the neighboring state of Connecticut.
Thirteen died in New York City, including 11 who could not escape their basements, police said. The victims ranged from the ages of two to 86.
"Among the people MOST at risk during flash floods here are those living in off-the-books basement dwellings that don't meet the safety codes necessary to save lives," lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
"These are working class, immigrant, and low-income people & families," she added.
Three also died in the New York suburb of Westchester, while another four died in Montgomery County outside Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, a local official confirmed.
Ida blazed a trail of destruction north after slamming into Louisiana over the weekend, bringing severe flooding and tornadoes.
State emergencies were declared in New York and New Jersey while the National Weather Service issued its first-ever emergency flash flood warning for New York City, urging residents to move to higher ground.