Roads flooded across the region, with flood warnings in effect through Wednesday for the Saddle River in Lodi, N.J., and for the Ramapo River in northern New Jersey and Orange and Rockland Counties in New York.
Officials moved quickly to prepare for the nor’easter, in part scarred by the intensity of several storms this summer that exposed the region’s vulnerability to the extreme weather events made more frequent and intense by climate change.
“We’re not looking outside and seeing Ida today; however, every storm has to be taken seriously,” Joseph Fiordaliso, who leads New Jersey’s utility board, said at a news conference.
“Someday maybe we’ll just have a regular rainstorm. We don’t seem to get those much anymore,” he said, adding, “Climate change is real, and we have to work to mitigate as much of it as we possibly can.”
The threats were brought into stark relief last month, when torrential rain brought by Ida unleashed rushing waters that killed 11 people, including a toddler and his parents, in basement apartments in New York City. At least 43 people died across New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut amid the hurricane’s watery remnants.
Reporting was contributed by James Barron, Ellen Barry, Johnny Diaz, Precious Fondren, Michael Gold, Azi Paybarah, Dana Rubinstein, Ed Shanahan, Chris Stanford, Derrick Bryson Taylor, Tracey Tully and Mihir Zaveri.