Murphy says NJ death toll up to 25 from Ida’s impacts
Gov. Phil Murphy announced two additional deaths attributed to the onslaught of Hurricane Ida's leftovers Wednesday, bringing the preliminary, statewide toll as of Friday afternoon to 25.
Murphy also said at least six people remain missing: three in Passaic County, two in Somerset County, and one in Essex County.
The governor's office released county-level data on fatalities as well, and said lists of both the deceased and the missing, by municipality, would be released later Friday.
"This was a deadly and dangerous storm and we continue to face its aftereffects," Murphy said. "Our first responders have done a tremendous job."
An Elizabeth city spokeswoman confirmed to New Jersey 101.5 the identities of three family members, and a neighbor, who died in flooding in an apartment building: Jose Torres, 71, his wife Rosa Espinal, 72, son Jose Torres, 38, and neighbor Shakia Garrett, 33.
Murphy indicated such losses, whether in dwellings or vehicles, were the norm for this storm, saying that no fatalities have been reported as a result of the tornadoes that touched down in South and Central Jersey.
He said the families he spoke to in Mullica Hill Thursday all said the same thing, that they heeded the warnings they were given and sought shelter on the lowest level of their homes or in basements. Murphy called those warnings "unequivocal."
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, and we pray for the memories of those lost, overwhelmingly folks lost, if not entirely, to flooding," Murphy said. "Heavy rains are increasingly the central element of these storms, and water can kill you."