Hurricane Ida death toll rises past 60, and over half a million people are still without power

The number of reported U.S. deaths linked to Hurricane Ida has now exceeded 60 as recovery efforts continue — and over 550,000 people in Louisiana remained without power overnight.

The big picture: The death toll in Louisiana rose to 13 Sunday, a week after the storm slammed the state as a Category 4 hurricane. Ida’s remnants later combined with other storm systems to lash the Northeastern U.S. with historic rainfall, triggering flash-flooding.

Biden approved New Jersey’s emergency’s disaster declaration late Sunday, having earlier made similar approvals to free up federal funds for assistance for states including Louisiana and New York.

Details: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul confirmed at a news conference Sunday 17 deaths from the storm— four in Westchester County and the rest in New York City. It caused more than $50 million in damage in the state, affecting about 1,200 homes, Hochul said.

“The human toll was tremendous,” Hochul said.

In New Jersey, a spokesperson for Gov. Phil Murphy confirmed 27 deaths and said “four people still missing,” per Reuters.

In Louisiana, Gov. Jon Bel Edwards said 13 people had now died in the state, one more than he reported Saturday.

Edwards noted Saturday that the toll might increase because so many people were relying on power from generators —have been blamed for at least four carbon monoxide deaths.

Pennsylvania reported the storm had killed at least four people, and Connecticut and Maryland each reported a death from the deluge, Reuters notes.

Of note: Edwards tweeted his thanks to President Biden for visiting Louisiana on Friday to see Ida’s damage. Biden was due to visit New Jersey and New York on Tuesday.

Thank you @POTUS for visiting Louisiana to see the aftermath of Hurricane #Ida. There is no substitute for seeing the devastation on the ground. Louisiana faces a long road to recovery ahead, and we appreciate the aid and support of our federal partners. #lagov pic.twitter.com/rZuSeWQIAA

— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) September 5, 2021

Context: Climate change has exacerbated extreme precipitation events, Axios’ Andrew Freedman notes.

Over 230 medical journals — including the Lancet and JAMA — published an editorial on Sunday evening warning that the climate crisis is the “greatest threat to global public health” and urging world leaders to act.

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