With tornados, flooding, power outages and property damage, Tropical Storm Ida was one of the worst to hit New Jersey in recent memory. The storm devastated the state Wednesday, turning roads into rivers and causing emergency personnel to use boats to rescue stranded individuals.
Gov. Murphy declared a state of emergency and on Thursday morning, the damage from the storm was worse than many had predicted. As of 5:30 pm Thursday, Gov. Murphy reported that at least 23 New Jerseyans lost their lives. “The majority of these deaths were individuals who got caught in their vehicles by flooding and were overtaken by water,” Gov Murphy shared on social media.
Murphy urged residents to stay off the roads as the worst of the flooding may be yet to come Thursday night and Friday as some rivers are predicted to keep rising.
According to the National Weather Service, the Passaic River in Pine Brook and Little Falls, the Raritan River in Bound Brook and the Assunpink Creek in Trenton are forecast to keep rising until 6 pm on Friday. The Delaware River at Easton/Phillipsburg is forecast to crest around 6 pm Thursday.
As for closures, the storm shut down Newark International Airport Wednesday night. Most of NJ Transit rail service is still suspended and buses are running with delays due to downed trees and flooded roads. As of this writing, 60,000 customers were without power in the Garden State. Businesses were forced to close and in many towns, school was canceled or school buildings were flooded. Countless residents had flooded basements and water damage.
Many people are asking how they can help. Visit HelpNJNow.org to find out how you can donate or connect people with the help they need. The American Red Cross for the New Jersey region has set up two evacuation shelters for those affected by flooding: one is at 600 Washington Ave. in Manville and the other is at International High School, 200 Grand St. in Paterson. You can also volunteer with the Red Cross or donate on their website.
Here are some highlights from the storm:
In Montclair, cars were submerged under floodwater.
NJ.com put the focus on the rescuers who went above and beyond to help those who were stranded.
News 12 captured an aerial view of the flooding.
And Bergen in Color shared footage of flooding in Englewood.
Our NJ State Troopers saved the day for many residents.
A tornado touched down in Mullica Hills, causing extensive damage to residential areas and devasting NJ’s largest dairy farm.
To help those affected, visit HelpNJNow.org.