Roaring thunder, rain falling in sheets, flashes of lightning so bright they lit up a room– this was the scene in Ridgewood and surrounding areas during Hurricane Ida a few weeks ago. The hurricane battered northern New Jersey and New York City on September 1st and 2nd, causing flooding, property damage, and several deaths.
Over less than 24 hours, 6-8 inches of rain slammed down on New Jersey, creating fast-moving currents of floodwater that proved to be incredibly deadly. 25 people in New Jersey alone were killed, mostly through entrapment in cars or homes and subsequent drowning. Severe, hard to predict weather events like Hurricane Ida are likely to become more and more frequent in the future as the global climate grows more erratic.
Ridgewood Public Schools was forced to close school because of the unsafe driving conditions on our very second day of school. Among the students, the usual unrestrained glee of a snow day was remarkably subdued. Instead, many felt shocked by the destruction: “Mostly nothing happened to me during Hurricane Ida, but I did observe in some places that it absolutely wreaked havoc, I saw an apartment that was completely flooded on the ground floor,” said Tarun Kalyanaraman, junior at RHS. There also seemed to be a surge of gratitude for being spared the worst of the storm’s devastation. Katherine Hoffman, a junior, weighs in: “I’m grateful my family was lucky, our basement flooded but nothing else, and we were able to repair it, so it didn’t affect me too much. Many were worse off.”
Tropical Storm Ida was one of the worst storms in recent memory to tear through New Jersey, leaving tragedy and shockwaves in its wake. As these storms become more common, hopefully, we can band together as a community to prepare for them and ensure the safety of everyone.
Katina Eilender (staff writer)
Graphic: Isabella Harelick