Sept. 3, 2021 By Allie Griffin
The death toll of Hurricane Ida rose to 13 citywide — including 11 fatalities in Queens — after more bodies were discovered Thursday.
The NYPD confirmed the deaths of three more people in a flooded basement apartment in East Flushing just before noon Thursday.
Their deaths brought the number of Queens fatalities up to 11 from eight previously confirmed deaths.
The deceased’s landlord made the gruesome discovery when he visited the building at 153-10 Peck Ave. near Kissena Park to access storm damage Thursday morning, AMNY reported.
The three people — two women and a man — were pronounced dead at the scene. Police have not yet released their identities.
They are among 10 Queens residents who died when stormwater flooded basement apartments across the borough.
Multiple family members died together in several of the incidents.
For instance, a two-year-old boy and his parents died in their flooded basement-level home in Woodside and a mother and her adult son died when their basement-level home in Jamaica was flooded as well.
A 48-year-old woman also died in basement apartment in Forest Hills, as did an 86-year-old woman in Elmhurst.
I am at 6210 Grand Central Pkwy and they need help. This is the flooded entrance to garage. Residents were helping each other rescue neighbors but 1 life was unfortunately lost. Over 200 cars damaged. Families and pets displaced. @NYCMayorsOffice @GovKathyHochul pic.twitter.com/raA6VUFExY
— Grace Meng (@Grace4NY) September 2, 2021
An 11th person was found dead in a burned out car on the Grand Central Parkway Thursday morning. Police believe the vehicle was involved in an earlier collision caused by the storm and resulting flooding along the parkway.
NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison said the record-shattering storm was the worst he had seen since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
“This is one of the most difficult storms I’ve seen in my thirty years,” he said at a press conference Thursday evening.
The remnants of Hurricane Ida brought with it the greatest single-hour rainfall in New York City history. The storm turned city roadways into rivers, swamped the subway system and filled apartments and businesses with several feet of water.
Harrison said many more lives would have been lost without the heroic efforts of the NYPD and other first responders.
Officers performed 69 water rescues citywide, including 20 in Queens — with the vast majority at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
They rescued a further 166 people in need of assistance throughout the city and assisted the evacuation of 835 subway passengers along the 4, 6, R, N and E lines.
In one incident, the NYPD Emergency Service Unit rescued numerous motorists who were stuck in water along the Grand Central Parkway near Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The officers got all the drivers and passengers — including a 94-year-old man who suffered hypothermia — to safety.
The NYPD also moved nearly 500 abandoned vehicles to safer ground across the five boroughs, Harrison said.
Officers are continuing to survey and perform wellness check in areas that were greatly impacted by the storm, he added.
The losses to New Yorkers’ home and businesses are expected to be far-reaching.
President Joseph Biden approved New York State’s emergency declaration late Thursday in a move that will provide federal support to the recovery effort.
The action authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate disaster relief efforts and offer monetary aid, equipment, personnel and supplies to supplement localities’ efforts. It will also help people find temporary housing and provide funeral assistance.