New York Gov. Kathy Hochul spent Thursday in the New York City area to get a firsthand account of the devastation caused by Wednesday night’s historic storm that reportedly killed at least nine people in the city, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
As the remnants of Hurricane Ida moved across the northeastern United States, it pounded downstate New York with such unexpected force that the National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency, a first for New York City.
“This was an exceedingly rare event with 6-10” of rainfall falling over a several hour period,” the service’s New York City office posted on its Twitter page early Thursday morning. “Take these warnings (and emergencies) seriously!!”
The weather service reported 7.19 inches of rain at Central Park, 6.89 inches at LaGuardia Airport and 8.44 inches across the Hudson in Newark, New Jersey. Those were record totals for Newark and LaGuardia and the fifth-highest one-day total for Central Park.
Hochul spoke at a news conference in Queens late Thursday morning with de Blasio, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and other local and state leaders. The three said the storm shows the need to bolster the city’s infrastructure and make it more resilient.
“We haven’t experienced this before, but we should expect it the next time,” she said.
Both Schumer and de Blasio expanded upon the governor’s comment, saying the storm itself was a result of global warming.
Like the governor, they said it represents what New Yorkers will face from future storms.
“Woe is us if we don’t do something about it quickly, both in building resilient infrastructure and going to clean power,” Schumer said.
The mayor added that Wednesday’s rain came just two weeks after Tropical Storm Henri. That storm hit Central Park with more than eight inches of precipitation and Brooklyn with almost 10 inches.
“This is the biggest wake-up call we could possibly get,” he said.
The governor said she had already spoken with President Joe Biden, who promised to offer any resources and assistance the city and state need moving forward.
Later in the afternoon, she visited Great Neck Station in Nassau County to see how recovery efforts were going on Long Island before heading back to Queens to honor transit workers for their work in aiding passengers who found themselves stranded in the flooding.
Images popped up on social media and TV networks showing water gushing into the city’s subway system. That led to its second shutdown in less than a week, and the storm also affected other Metropolitan Transportation Authority rail lines that serve the region.
Flooding also damaged scores of properties across the region. State police and other responders rescued more than 100 people in Westchester and Rockland counties. Hochul said the state Department of Financial Services will contact insurance companies to get representatives out across the area to help residents and business owners start the claims filing process.
A Hochul spokesperson told The Center Square Thursday afternoon said the areas affected by the deadly storm were still being assessed. However, it’s still too early to estimate the cost of the damages to the region.
This article was originally posted on Hochul, de Blasio vow to bolster infrastructure after Ida’s remnants slam New York City, killing nine