At Least Eight Dead In New York City After Ida Remnants Flood Streets, Subways And Homes

Refresh for updates… The remnants of Hurricane Ida flooded many New York City streets Wednesday night, and left at least eight people dead in New York City and at least five more in the region including New Jersey – a toll that likely will increase today as official tallies continue through a dry and sunny morning after.

Record levels of rainfall soaked the Northeast Wednesday night, with more than 7 inches of rain falling in Central Park between 4 a.m. Wednesday and 4 a.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. Subway platforms and commuter rail lines flooded and closed, Amtrak canceled Thursday morning service in the region, flights were grounded in New York and New Jersey airports and flash flood emergencies were declared.

More than half of the subway lines in New York City remained closed or disrupted on Thursday morning.

Rainfall in Central Park broke a record set only days before: On Wednesday night, 3.15 inches of rain fell in one hour, exceeding the 1.94 inch-record set just days before during Tropical Storm Henri. The Public Theater canceled last night’s performance of Shakespeare in the Park’s Merry Wives an hour before the 8 p.m. start time: “We normally do not cancel a performance prior to 8PM, but the safety of our artists, staff, and audience is our priority,” the Public tweeted at 7:05 p.m.

The New York Times reports today that during at least one Broadway show – Pass Over – emergency phone alerts “rippled through” the audience as the actors stayed in character and continued the show.

Audiences at New York’s Film Forum cinema were watching the 1969 French film La Piscine when rainwater began to enter the theater. Tweeted one audience member: “Film forum flooded during our screening of la piscine and we all got vouchers.” The tweeter joked that the screening of the film (which translates to The Swimming Pool) was “4D.”

Actors’ Equity Association on Thursday morning tweeted a reminder to its members and staff that “resources are available to everyone who works in performing arts and entertainment” dealing with the storm’s aftermath.

Although New York police had confirmed only eight weather-related deaths as of Thursday morning, at least six more deaths are being attributed to Ida throughout the area, including New Jersey.  Though names of the dead have not been released, the victims include a two-year-old boy, a 48-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man all found in a home in Queens.

Local media reports indicates a victim in Passaic, N.J. was trapped in a car on a flooded street. The mayor of Passaic told MSNBC this morning that at least two other people in his city are feared to have been swept away in the flooded streets.

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