Weeks after the torrential rain stopped, residents are still dealing with the lasting effects of Hurricane Ida, the storm that produced record rainfall along parts of the North Shore earlier this month. Some of the highest rain totals from the remnants of the storm were in Sea Cliff and Glen Cove, where streets looked like rivers and a number of residences and businesses sustained extensive structural damage from the flooding.
As the storm moved northeast after making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane, three to eight inches of rain or more was reported across the metropolitan area. The North Shore saw some of the worst of it, with nine inches of rain in parts of Glen Cove.
“We received nine inches of rain from ten o’clock to two o’clock in the morning” on Sept. 2 and 3, said Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, who represents the 11th Legislative District, including much of the North Shore. “Everything we had in place didn’t stand a chance.”
There are no final estimates yet on the extent of the property damage the storm caused, but hundreds of homes were damaged. AccuWeather estimated that Ida’s overall economic impact would be $95 billion, making it the seventh-costliest hurricane to hit the U.S. since 2000. The estimate takes into account property damages, the impact of lost work as well as a drop in tourism.
The Red Cross said it housed nearly 400 people in temporary shelters in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania the night of Sept. 2.
“It is rare for a hurricane from the Gulf of Mexico to produce this much damage this far north,” AccuWeather CEO Joel Myers said. He noted that the extreme rain in New York City led to “unprecedented” flash flooding.
In Sea Cliff, flooding damaged residents’ homes as well as the surrounding landscape. One resident’s embankment wall, which held the cliffside home stable for more than 100 years, was washed away; others reported the collapses of retaining walls.
“These are cement retaining walls that have been there for many, many years,” Sea Cliff Village Administrator Bruce Kennedy said. “They survived Hurricane Sandy, and this storm took them out just from the hydrostatic pressure.”
Officials said that a sewage pump station lost power, and its backup generator didn’t kick in. The Glen Cove Police Department’s phone lines were under more than six feet of water, and the public library had extensive flood damage, forcing it to close for repairs until this past Monday, when it resumed normal hours.
At the height of the storm locally, at around 2 a.m. on Sept. 3, over 13,000 people across Long Island were without power, according to PSEG.
Overnight, first responders rescued people and recovered vehicles from flooding in both Nassau and Suffolk counties. Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said that the county’s emergency service units recovered 20 cars, responded to 25 roadway accidents and rescued one person from a vehicle in Sea Cliff and another from a home in Great Neck.
“I’m still devastated by over five feet of water in my basement, thanks to Ida,” Sea Cliff resident Joyce Barondess said.