Hurricane Ida has killed at least 43 people across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.
A New York woman feared for her life when she was at home in Queens on Sept. 1. As Hurrican Ida came barreling up the East Coast its remnants resulted in the stormwater quickly flooding her room. Danette Rivera, 47 had run down to the basement after her tenant let her know that it was flooding. But as she was assessing the situation the water began rushing in. Danette told WABC-TV, "Every time I came back down to touch the ground, the water would go over my head," she said. "I was covered with feces, dirty water. I really thought I was going to drown." Eventually, she was able to open up a small window leading outside to call for help. She pushed her tenant out the small window but found it difficult to get out as she kept being pushed away by the water.
Danette Rivera thought she was going to die as stormwater from Ida filled her Queens basement, rising close to the ceiling. She was saved by her blind son.— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) September 6, 2021
“My son saved my life. My son is my hero.”https://t.co/Y9kv4vyx3b
Hearing her cries for help, her 29-year-old son Justin, who’s legally blind in both eyes, rushed in to save her. "I said Justin, Justin I'm going to drown, I'm drowning. As loud as I can, like it was my last breath," she shared. Fortunately, he managed to pull her out. "At some point, she was just screaming for help," Justin told WABC-TV, adding that he was "taken aback by how deep the water was in the yard. There was a sense of importance, but it was like a calm rationalization of what needed to be done." It wasn't easy to squeeze through the window ( it even left her covered in bruises), but despite being hurt and sore, the mom is just grateful to be alive today. "There was no way for me to call him. There was no way for me to contact him. So for him to come down precisely at the moment, it was amazing grace," Danette Rivera said.
Legally Blind Man Rescues His Mom from Basement During Ida Flooding: 'He Literally Saved My Life' https://t.co/DxotoTo0rc— People (@people) September 8, 2021
Danette also recalled her story to the New York Daily News, saying, "I shouted and shouted, 'Justin, I'm drowning!' He went by my voice and he came and he grabbed me and he pulled me out. He literally saved my life right when I needed him." She added, her voice filled with emotion, “My son is blind, but he’s not weak. My son saved my life. My son is my hero.”
Hurricane Ida has killed at least 43 people across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, reports The New York Times. The storm brought with it heavy rainfall, flooding, tornadoes, and strong winds. In NYC, 11 of the 13 people who died were found in basement apartments, per The Washington Post. In most cases, the basement apartments were never legally converted into residential spaces and most of the people who had died were immigrants, the outlet noted. "Now we understand there has to be a different kind of evacuation for folks in basement apartments and in some other areas of the city as well. If we are seeing this kind of rain, we have to have an evacuation mechanism that can reach them," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference last week.