At least 58 deaths so far have been blamed on, including 13 in the South, and 45 in the Northeast, where remnants form the storm tore through the region on Wednesday.
In Louisiana, where the storm made landfall, the power is still out for hundreds of thousands of people. That means shortages of food, water and fuel. President Joe Biden will visit the area later today.
Across the Northeast, record rainfall caused unprecedented flooding, catching many people by surprise in their cars and homes, requiring rescues by first responders from rising tides and powerful floods.
In New Jersey, a police officer saved a man stuck in his submerged car, but the search is being ramped up for two missing college students whose car may have been pulled into the river in Wayne.
Boats went house-to-house in Delaware and Pennsylvania to save the stranded. Meanwhile, New York residents were carried to safety on a bulldozer.
Ida tore through the region, leaving flooded neighborhoods, a submerged stadium, and rushing water strong enough to send a shipping container floating, and pile cars on top of each other.
When Somerville, N.J., resident Hakim Hampton’s basement started flooding, he tried to drive to a friend’s house to borrow a pump. “I climbed out the window, because I knew if I opened the doors, all of that water was gonna get in the vehicle,” he told correspondent Mola Lenghi.
“Was it scary?”
“I was kind of nervous, so I didn’t know what to expect,” said Hampton. “But thank God I’m safe. Made it back safely, and now this (pointing to the flooded street) is the aftermath of what we’re going through… We wasn’t prepared for anything like this. This is the worst I’ve ever seen it, even with Sandy.”
In places where water has receded, communities are left to dry out and pick up the pieces. Crews are cleaning up towns torn apart by tornadoes, and fixing crumbled roads that swallowed up cars.
On Thursday Governor Phil Murphy toured the damage in New Jersey. “This is going to take us some time to dig out of, there’s no question about it,” he said.
As the storm moved through the region, homes flooded, and the New York City subway system shut down after the onslaught of rain.
“Storms affect all of us, but what we’ve got to recognize is the suddenness, the brutality of storms now, it is different,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
People across the region were caught off-guard by the rare weather, described as anow all the more common because of climate change.
“It’s time for an entirely different approach,” De Blasio said, “because we’re getting a signal here. We have to make a change to protect the lives of the people of this city.”
As the death toll continues to rise, those who made it to safety are especially grateful.
“I know we lost everything, materialistic, everything, you know?” said Jeff Lopez. “That, you can repair, but family you can’t bring back.”
There are still a lot of streets and parking lots under water. It could take some time for a lot of the standing water to recede, and only then can communities really begin to assess the damage.