13 people, including toddler, killed in historic NYC flooding as water rushed into homes

Friday, September 3, 2021
At least 13 killed in NYC in historic flooding from Ida
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At least 13 people, including a toddler, were killed in New York City overnight as Ida battered the area and flash flood waters quickly filled basement apartments.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- At least 13 people, including a toddler, were killed in New York City overnight as Ida battered the area and flash flood waters quickly filled basement apartments.

The NYPD said they performed 69 water rescues and a total of 166 road rescues. Nearly 500 vehicles were abandoned by drivers during the flooding.

Governor Kathy Hochul, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer held a press conference outside a home on 183rd Street in Hollis where a mother and her adult son died, promising federal aid and assistance to residents.

Surveillance video from just after 11 p.m. shows the flood waters and a hole that begins to open up in the concrete on the side of the building.

It slowly begins to expand, and first responders arrive minutes later. But it was too late to save the victims, 43-year-old Phamatee Ramskriet and 22-year-old Knrishah Ramskriet, who lived in that basement apartment for more than 15 years.

Across the street, Syeda Amin nearly drowned in her basement apartment. She thanked her landlord for pulling her up the stairs and out of the water, but she's lost everything.

"Will I go? How will I survive?" she said. "I lost everything of mine, and after seeing their condition, their situation, my brain is not working at all. I'm totally lost. I'm totally lost. I don't know what to do now."

Three bodies more were found submerged in the basement of a home in Flushing later Thursday, discovered in a home on Peck Avenue around 12:15 p.m.

The landlord called the fire department to report the find, with the house nestled in an enclave ravaged by the flooding.

Around 10 p.m. Wednesday, police discovered a 50-year-old man, a 48-year-old woman, and a 2-year-old boy dead inside a home on 64th Street in Woodside.

Their fate was determined simply by what floor on which they lived.

"This a community where lots of folks are renting in basement apartments and obviously are extremely vulnerable in a situation like this," City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said.

A neighbor says the street floods often, and there was work underway that was supposed to fix the flooding problem.

"The purpose of the construction was to make sure this doesn't happen," a neighbor said. "They took the whole block apart, but obviously city planning didn't make it work."

At least three other people were killed in flooded apartments, including 48-year-old Darlene Hsu in Forest Hills, 66-year-old Roberto Bravo in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, and an 86-year-old woman who was found dead in her Queens apartment early Thursday morning.

RELATED | How much rain fell in NY, NJ amid historic Ida flooding?

On Thursday morning, Mayor de Blasio announced the death of an additional person in a car crash on Exit 5 at the Grand Central Parkway in Queens around midnight.

The vehicle was rear ended and exploded in flames, and one body was found in the car. The person has not yet been identified.

The NYPD reported that they had been rescuing people from flooded streets and apartments all night long.

Record rainfall produced immense flooding across all five boroughs leaving streets underwater, drivers stranded and subways shut down.

De Blasio declared a state of emergency, and the flooding was so bad and the emergency response so great that a travel ban was issued until 5 a.m. on all nonemergency vehicles on city streets and highways.

"Please stay off the streets tonight and let our first responders and emergency services get their work done," he tweeted. "If you're thinking of going outside, don't. Stay off the subways. Stay off the roads. Don't drive into these heavy waters."

The MTA suspended subway service, and many motorists had to be rescued after driving into flooded roads.

Rain made its way onto the indoor court at the tennis center during the U.S. Open. The roof was closed, but the wind-swept rain still made it inside.

As fans left the tennis center, they had to make their way through knee-deep floodwaters.

And at Yankee Stadium, the outfield was pictured completely underwater. Fortunately, the Yankees were playing in California during the severe weather.

Central Park observed 3.15 inches of rain in one hour from 8:51 pm to 9:51 p.m., which would make it the wettest hour in New York City record-keeping dating back to 1870.

It smashed a record set just last month, on the night of August 22, when Central Park saw 1.94 inches between 10 and 11 p.m.


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