Ida aftermath: Paterson water still not safe, another body found in NJ river

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021
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Nearly two weeks after the remnants of Hurricane Ida caused widespread flooding in New Jersey, the tap water in Paterson is still not safe to drink.

PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Nearly two weeks after the remnants of Hurricane Ida caused widespread flooding in New Jersey and left at least 31 people dead, the tap water in Paterson is still not safe to drink.

The city remains under a boil water advisory, and on Tuesday, Mayor Andre Sayegh provided vouchers to residents outside the Paterson Super Supermarket on Main Street.

"I want the Paterson residents who are watching to know that this is a serious situation because the state water management system is saying the water is unsafe at this time," Sayegh said. "And we're doing our part to keep you safe and ensure that you have drinking water that is safe. "

Officials are also going door to door and using robocalls to make sure everyone knows where to get water.

Even though some residents are frustrated by the boil water notice, they are happy that the city is providing drinking water.

The city isn't sure when clean tap water will be available, but residents hope it's soon.

Residents can pick up water at the location, one case per family per day, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and officials are also going door to door to make sure people know about the program.

Proof of residency is required.

RELATED | 2 bodies found in Passaic River identified as student, friend missing after Ida

Runoff infiltrated the reservoir, which officials said could have been prevented had they been capped prior to the storm.

"This could have been completely avoidable," one city official said. "It's an economic and a social injustice that the residents of Paterson, Passaic and Clifton do not have the best possible drinking water that they deserve. It's a travesty, quite frankly."

Water was being dropped off at schools, which were also impacted.

Meanwhile, a third body has been discovered in the Passaic River in less than a week in Harrison.

Authorities say a train passenger was looking out the window when they noticed the floating body.

The man has not yet been positively identified, but on Monday, Governor Phil Murphy said one person was still missing.

Murphy had announced the 30th death in the state, and though he didn't reveal details, the victim is believed to have been previously hospitalized with injuries suffered during the storm.

Last week, the bodies of friends Nidhi Rana and Ayush Rana were recovered in the Passaic River.

RELATED | Ida death toll in New Jersey rises to 30; 1 person still missing

Ida is one of the deadliest storms to hit the Garden State. Superstorm Sandy claimed 34 lives in 2012.

Murphy also said that 11 of the state's 21 counties are now part of the federal government's major disaster declaration, up from the original six.

To apply for federal assistance, visit or call 1-800-621-FEMA.


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