N.J. Governor: Twenty-five residents of the state died during Tropical Storm Ida, six residents still missing

Gov. Phil Murphy speaks in Millburn on Friday morning.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday released more information about the death toll in the state from Tropical Storm Ida.

At least 25 residents of the state have died, and at least another six people are still missing. Three people are missing in Passaic County, two people are missing in Somerset County, and one person is missing in Essex County.

“I am deeply saddened to report an additional two fatalities as a result of this tropical storm, bringing our total to 25 New Jerseyans who have lost their lives to this storm,” Murphy said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with every family and community mourning a loved one.”

Murphy said people died because of flooding. Some died trying to escape their vehicles, while others died in basement apartments that filled with water. No one died as a result of tornado damage, Murphy said.  

One resident of Mercer County, four residents of Somerset County, six residents of Hunterdon County, and three residents of Middlesex County died in the storm.

Murphy said the state will be releasing a list of the municipalities where the fatalities occurred and towns where people are missing from later Friday.

Two people died in Hopewell Township on Wednesday night, but officials have not released information about the identities of the victims or information about where they lived.

On Thursday, officials in Hillsborough confirmed that a resident from Ringoes in Hunterdon County and a resident from Belle Mead in Somerset County died during the storm there.

Tropical Storm Ida deaths by county in New Jersey

Bergen County – 1
Essex County – 4
Hunterdon County – 6
Mercer County – 1
Middlesex County – 3
Passaic County – 1
Somerset County – 4
Union County – 5

Murphy on Friday said it is clear that the damage caused by Ida is significant by any measure, and that recovering and rebuilding will require economic support. He has requested emergency funding from the federal government, including funding for homeowners and families affected by the storm. The state has also set aside $10 million in grants for small businesses harmed by the storm. Businesses should document the damage with photos and receipts. Grants range from $1,000 to $5,000.

“Help is coming. I know this is the absolute last thing that you all needed in the small business community after a year and a half long struggle against the pandemic,” Murphy said. “We are in this with you and we will stay in this with you.”

Murphy said it is not surprising that storms are happening with greater intensity and frequency due to climate change. “Sudden and intense rainfall is exactly one of the circumstances New Jersey’s climate scientists have predicted,” Murphy said, adding that the state is taking various steps to mitigate the impacts of climate change.