In the Northeast at least 45 people, including 23 in New Jersey and 12 in New York City, were found dead during the cleanup following the flash floods caused by the “historic” weather event that officials attribute to climate change.
According to the New York Police Department, out of 12 people who died in this city, one of them perished in a car and the remaining 11 died because of flooded basement apartments that often serve as relatively affordable homes in one of the nation’s most expensive housing markets. The youngest victim was 2 years old and the oldest is 86.
In Pennsylvania, five people have died; Another one died in Maryland and one more was found dead in Connecticut.
Lawmaker Alexandria said in a Twitter post, “Among the people most at risk during flash floods here are those living off-the-books basement dwellings that don’t meet the safety codes necessary to save lives.”
The New Jersey Fire Department then performed water rescues of trapped residents following torrential rains from the remnants of HURRICANE Ida on Thursday.
People were forced to navigate through heavy rains and flooded walkways at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York on Wednesday night.
Hurricane Ida also paralyzed NYC with flash floods in subways. In the New York suburb of Westchester, there are three people who were declared dead, while Montgomery County outside Philadelphia in Pennsylvania reported and confirmed three casualties.
One of the Connecticut state police sergeants also passed away during the hurricane, after his cruiser was swept away. In the Bronx and Queens, cars were submerged forcing the fire department to rescue hundreds of people because the flooding closed off major roads across New Jersey and New York boroughs, including Manhattan.
According to Governor Phil Murphy, at least 23 people died in New Jersey. He also said that most of these deaths were from among the individuals who were caught in their vehicles.
Governor Murphy also requested President Joe Biden to address the issue of a major disaster declaration due to the impact from the remnants of Ida on Thursday.
During the flooding in New York, Sophy Liu, a resident, had to rouse her son from bed. She put on a life jacket on her son, along with an inflatable swimming ring, since their first-floor apartment was already flooded. When she found her door blocked by the force of the water, she called her friends for help. She also said that the water was nearly 5 feet high when they came to her rescue.
Mrs. Liu added that she was scared, but she had to be strong for her son. ‘I had to calm him down,’ she said on Thursday as medical examiners removed three bodies from a home down their street.
Cars and trucks were stranded and nearly engulfed by the high water on the Major Deegan Expressway in The Bronx on Thursday.
Sections of the FDR Drive in Manhattan, the Bronx River Parkway, and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway were also flooded.
In New York City, the Bronx river overflowed into Bronx River Parkway as the city saw record rainfall, which prompted an unprecedented flash flood emergency warning for New York City. The flood turned streets into rivers and shut down subway services as water cascaded down the platforms onto tracks.
Metodia Mihajlov said, “I’m 50 years old and I’ve never seen that much rain ever, his basement Manhattan restaurant was flooded with three inches of water. This is so Unbelievable. Everything is so strange this year,” he told AFP.
In another part of the Queens, water rapidly filled Deborah Torres’ first-floor apartment to her knees, as her landlord frantically urged her neighbors who had a baby to get out, she said. Three residents also died because the pressure water forced the door closed.
Similar situations have followed hurricanes before, but experts said it was slightly exacerbated by climate change – as warmer air holds more rain – and urban settings, where expansive pavement prevents water from seeping into the ground. The National Hurricane Center warns of ‘significant and life-threatening flooding’ and moderate and major river flooding in the Mid -Atlantic region and New England.
Kathy Hochul, a Democrat who became governor last week after former Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned said, “the water level in Niagara Falls on the streets of New York. We didn’t know that between 8:50 and 9:50 last night, that the sky would open up and bring the water level in Niagara Falls to the streets of New York.”
Bill De Blasio, also a Democrat, said he’d gotten a forecast Wednesday of 3 to 6 inches of rain for the day. They endured a historic weather event tonight with record-breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding, and dangerous conditions on their roads.
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Only 28% Of Americans View Economic Conditions Of Their Country As Excellent
The American economy has experienced much turmoil during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, according to the Motley Fool, the United States of America’s economy has come a long way since the beginning of the pandemic.
Of course, the pandemic sore the unemployment level in the year 2020 reaching a record high. In addition to this, finding work during this period has been extremely difficult. As such, the federal government issued various stimulus and COVID relief payments and credits and unemployment benefits to combat the effects of the pandemic.
The State Of U.S. Economy
Currently, the American economy is has a 7.5% inflation rate or consumer price index. This has surpassed the 40-year record high since 1982, that is, since last month. However, besides this – the unemployment rate has decreased, and it seems the United States of America is ‘getting back to work,’ and their country’s economy is starting to recover. However – a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center showed that 28% of participants viewed the country’s economic conditions as good or excellent.
Why Such Economic Pessimism
It seems the supper high inflation rate leads most Americans to have such a negative view of their economy. Indeed close to 90% of participants viewed food and gas prices as higher than last year, 89 and 88 82 percent respectively.
Is Inflation Always Bad?
However, some economists argue that inflation, is at times, a sign of a healthy economy and does not always have to be viewed in a negative light. This is easier said than done though, with living costs increasing – consumers can feel the pinch in their budgets.
The argument, however, is that supply and demand determine the unit price. So if there is an increased demand – and supply does not necessarily change – unit price must increase. This means consumer price index increases or inflation. So an increase in demand could show people are buying more, and this might at least be the signs of a recovering – or active economy.
When supply chain issues are fixed – inflation should decrease. Furthermore, since December last year, unemployment is the lowest it has been since the start of the pandemic. So perhaps such an opposing economic viewpoint – can be replaced, which is realistic, in this light.
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Experts Predict Long Payment Delays From IRS This Season, Provide Few Tips To Speed Up The Process
The IRS faces an enormous backlog due to staff shortages amidst the pandemic, it has recruited new officials, but the challenge remains tough. IRS is yet to process millions of tax returns of last season. The IRS officials are crushed under a ton of paperwork; millions of taxpayers will file their returns this year. The authorities will need to devise a compact strategy to overcome the backlog. CNBC reports that IRS had 6 million unprocessed returns by December 31, this is large numbers, and 2021’s tax returns might take some time.
IRS Workers Are Sparse
Experts suggest various ways to slim the time lag between filing the returns and receiving the payments. CNBC reports that the IRS only had 15,000 workers to answer around 24 million customer calls during the first six months of 2021, one person for 16,000 customers. Experts suggest taxpayers avoid the paperwork to the maximum extent; filers can switch electronic modes to fast forward the documentation. Taxpayers need to use advanced features to process tax refunds and other pending payments quickly. The electronic method will ease the burden on IRS officials during data verification.
Taxpayers Should File Electronic Tax Returns
IRS quoted Erin Collins, the National Taxpayer Advocate; she said, “Paper is the IRS’s kryptonite, and the agency is buried in it. The IRS still transcribes paper returns line by line, number by number, they received around 17 million original paper returns last year, and the processing delays have run as long as 10 months.” The taxpayers need to recheck their tax returns thoroughly; the wrong information might lead to payment abortion and several lengthy delays. The officials, too, will have to go through the same twice or thrice, which makes the process more complicated.
The families who receive enhanced Child Tax Credit or Stimulus payments or both need to exercise extra caution while filing their returns; the IRS issued letters to provide data for the amount allocated. The beneficiaries for the remaining half of the Child Tax Credit payments or extra credit should give complete information in their tax returns. IRS has announced April 18 as the deadline; individuals need to complete the filing process before the date.
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2021 Tax Refunds Will Provide Additional Money To Low-Income Americans
The federal government introduced several relief programs to assist the sufferers of the pandemic. Millions of low-income families and individuals will likely return to their old living ways as the benefits have ceased. However, the tax refunds might bring extra money to several eligible households in 2022. IRS issued half of the Child Tax Credit to the families within the income threshold. The families will receive the remaining half after filing their returns. Many parents are eligible for additional checks after having a new child or a dependent in 2021. Cnet reports that the IRS will issue the suitable amount after information verification, eligible families will automatically receive the payments and tax refunds.
Families Will Receive The Remaining CTC
Families received $1,800 for each child below six and $1,500 for each between 6 and 17. Single taxpayers with annual income below $75,000 and married parents below $150,000 were eligible for the benefits. Cnet reports that the payments phase out at $220,000 and $440,000 for each. The families failing to receive the benefits last year due to incorrect data can avail themselves of the amount through their tax returns. Taxpayers can check their payment status through the online IRS portal. Last year, parents with an additional child needed to update their information to receive the credit.
Taxpayers With A Newborn In 2021 Will Receive Credit
Cnet reports that many families received overpayments due to data miscalculation; the IRS will claim back the payments or deduct the amount from the tax refunds. The parents with an income change need to update their information; the IRS will manage their repayments based on the new income. The parents with children turning 18 last year will have to repay the money to the IRS. The families with lower income in 2021 than in 2020 will also be eligible for the extra benefits.
The fate of the Child Tax Credit program is uncertain at present. The recent rejection of the Build Back Better bill shattered the hopes of millions of Americans. The CTC program offered valuable support to low-income families and allowed educational facilities for children below the poverty level. The cessation of the payments will lead to severe financial trauma.
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