Four people of Indian descent have died in the US states of New Jersey and New York after being swept away by flash flooding caused by Hurricane Ida.
Hurricane Ida, which made landfall in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, on Aug. 29, is the second most destructive hurricane ever to hit the state, only after Hurricane Katrina (2005).
A report in patch.com said 31-year-old Dhanush Reddy of Edison died last week after being swept into a 36-inch sewer pipe in South Plainfield, New Jersey.
The report added that South Plainfield Police, Middlesex County Water Rescue Team and Piscataway Police arrived at the scene where officers assisted motorists in the Hadley and Stelton Road area and heard cries for help.
Authorities said two men were swept into the pipe running from South Plainfield to Piscataway.
While one of the men was rescued, the other could not be found and authorities found Reddy’s body in a wooded area a few miles away the day after he drowned.
“Many of the flood victims lived in basement apartments, some of which were underground dwellings illegally hewn from larger homes and which may not have had the emergency exits required for legitimate apartments. Relatively inexpensive living spaces, they are a haven for thousands of the poor of the city, even though they are known as fire traps,” according to a report in NewsMadura.
“Overnight, the cellars became waterfalls,” it added.
The NYT report added that the Ramskrits, a family of four, were at their home in Queens when the water reached their ankles. As they tried to pack their things, “they heard a collapse and a stream of water pushed them through the pitch-black apartment as the walls collapsed.”
The flood washed the elderly Dameshwar Ramskrits through the house as he grabbed his wife Tara’s hand. “I tried to hold my wife and she tried to hold me,” he said Thursday, according to the NYT report. “But the water pushed me away and I couldn’t feel her hand anymore.”
Tara Ramskriet and her 22-year-old son Nick drowned.
Another Indian person, Malathi Kanche, 46, a software designer, was driving home with her 15-year-old daughter on Wednesday when her vehicle stopped in the medium high tide on Route 22 from Bridgewater, New Jersey.
According to a family friend, Mansi Mago, Kanche and her daughter held on to a tree as the water pulled them, but the tree fell and pulled Kanche into the deluge.
Initially, officials placed Kanche on the list of “missing persons”.
She was confirmed dead Friday, the NYT reported.
A Nepali family living in a basement basement in Queens also died when storm water flooded their apartment, leaving them trapped inside.
Mingma Sherpa had frantically called her neighbor Choi Sledge, who lived upstairs for help, and said, “The water is coming in now.”
“Get out! Go to the third floor!” Sledge had told Sherpa.
The NYT report said the family didn’t surface. Sledge called them again and in the short phone call Sherpa told her, “The water coming out the window.”
Sherpa, her husband, Lobsang Lama, and their son Ang all drowned in the storm.
Ida transitioned into a post-tropical cyclone on September 1, killing 65 people in the US, with the most deaths in New Jersey, New York and Louisiana.
Aside from deaths and damage to ecology, Hurricane Ida has battered public infrastructure in the northeastern states of the US.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)