A New York toddler and his parents died in New York City this past Wednesday due to record-breaking rain from Hurricane Ida.
The family of three, son Lobsang Lama, 2, his mother Mingma Sherpa, 48, and father Ang Lama, 50, were discovered “unconscious and unresponsive” inside their home on 64th Street in Woodside, Queens according to a spokesperson for the NYPD.
The family was trapped in their basement apartment as floodwaters began pouring through their window. The entire unit flooded along with the first-floor apartment above.
Their neighbor, Choi Sledge, who lives on the building’s third floor, informed the The New York Times how Sherpa called her around 9:30 p.m., pleading for help.
“She said, ‘The water is coming in right now,’ and I say, ‘Get out!’ Get to the third floor!” Sledge recalled to the outlet. “The last thing I hear from them is, ‘The water coming in from the window.’ And that was it.”
The family was originally from Nepal, according to Lobsang’s teacher, Martha Suarez informed the outlet.
“The baby was so cute,” Suarez continued. “Just a happy boy, very nice family.”
She showed up on Thursday at the family’s home for her scheduled appointment, bursting into tears when interviewed by the Daily News.
“They didn’t call me, they didn’t cancel me, so I was coming as usual,” she recalled. “This is too hard for me.”
As of Thursday evening, 44 people have died in the Northeast due to the flash flooding from Ida per Reuters. In New York City, 13 people lost their lives, while a total of 23 people in New Jersey have died.
“The majority of these deaths were individuals who got caught in their vehicles by flooding and were overtaken by the water,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday afternoon. “Our prayers are with their family members.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke via Twitter on the devastation and declared a state of emergency.
“Last night’s storm was horrifying and unlike anything our city has ever faced,” he wrote. “We lost nine people to this storm. The sudden brutality of these storms is not a coincidence. Climate change is REAL and we have to act NOW before more lives are lost.”
Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Maryland have reported other casualties as well.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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