Northeast deals with mud and waterlogged houses during Ida’s clean-up

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Updated 28 minutes ago

CRANFORD, NJ (AP) – Families and business owners affected by flooding in the northeast carried waterlogged goods to the sidewalk on Saturday and scraped up noxious mud as the deadly remains were cleaned up from the Hurricane Ida is shifting into high gear.

The White House said President Joe Biden will investigate storm damage in New York and New Jersey on Tuesday.

The mud-covered sidewalks of Cranford, New Jersey were carpeted with the rubbish of the suburban dream: household items and furniture that once made a comfortable home reduced to rubbish by sudden storm waters that inundated homes, cars and businesses and have killed at least 50 people in six eastern states.

This normally calm community along the Rahway River experienced major flooding when Ida arrived in the northeast with furious rains that reached eight inches in places on Wednesday and Thursday.

The main enemies during the big clean-up: mud, mud and sewage.

“The sewer has backed up into our basement and now we have to clean it out thoroughly,” said Dave Coughlin, one of the many residents on his street by the river, dragging ruined property to the house. sidewalk. He and his wife, Christina, were temporarily taking their two young children elsewhere as the cleanup progressed.

“I don’t want them to breathe this stuff or smell of bleach,” he said.

Ida blew across the Louisiana shore on Sunday tied as the fifth strongest storm to ever hit the Americas, then moved north with rains that overwhelmed urban drainage systems.

A record 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) fell in a single hour in New York City, where Thursday afternoon, nearly 7 1/2 inches (19 centimeters) had fallen, according to the National Weather Service. Eleven people died because they were unable to escape the rising waters in their low apartments.

On Saturday, the city opened service centers in each of the five boroughs to connect people with advice on housing, food and mental health. Seventy-seven people displaced by the storm were staying in hotels, Office of Emergency Management spokesperson Christina Farrell said.

In Connecticut, funeral arrangements have been made for the State Police Sgt. Brian Mohl, who was blown away with his vehicle while on duty Thursday morning in Woodbury. A vigil for Mohl is scheduled for September 8 in Hartford, where the funeral will be held on September 9.

Flooding and a fallen tree have also claimed lives in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York state and New Jersey, where at least 26 people have died, the most of any state. Most drowned after their vehicles were caught in flash floods.

Two doors down from the Coughlins on Saturday, a contractor hauled box after box of debris into a large industrial trash can in the driveway. Water was flowing through the gutter on both sides of the street, fed by basement sump pumps trying to flush floodwater out of the houses.

The array of goods destroyed by the storm and returned while the rubbish was heartbreaking: a dining room candle; children’s toys, including a sandbox; soaked rugs and carpets; a patio heater; couch cushions and a child’s art easel with rudimentary painting still hanging on it.

“It happened so suddenly,” Christina Coughlin said. “It was so unexpected. We definitely would have prepared more if we had known it was going to be this bad. “

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Associated Press editor Carolyn Thompson in Buffalo, New York, contributed to this report.


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