2-Year-Old Boy and His Parents Die in N.Y.C. Basement Apartment Due to Hurricane Ida Flooding

Lobsang Lama, his mother Mingma Sherpa, 48, and father Ang Lama, 50, were found "unconscious and unresponsive" inside their home on 64th Street in Woodside, Queens

Ang Gelu Lama
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A 2-year-old boy and his parents were among those who died in New York City on Wednesday, as Hurricane Ida dumped record-breaking rain on the Tri-State area.

The family of three — son Lobsang Lama, his mother Mingma Sherpa, 48, and father Ang Lama, 50 — were found "unconscious and unresponsive" inside their home on 64th Street in Woodside, Queens, a spokesperson for the NYPD confirmed to PEOPLE.

They were trapped in their basement apartment as floodwaters came barreling through their window. The entire unit flooded, as did the first-floor apartment above.

Choi Sledge, who lives on the building's third floor, told The New York Times that Sherpa called her around 9:30 p.m., frantically asking 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, Lobsang's teacher — Martha Suarez — told The New York Daily News.

"The baby was so cute," Suarez told the outlet. "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 talking to 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."

Hurricane Ida
Flooding from Hurricane Ida. Gary Hershorn/Getty

As of Thursday evening, at least 44 people have died in the Northeast due to the flash flooding from Ida, Reuters reported. 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."

Other casualties in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Maryland have been reported.

Hurricane Ida
Spencer Platt/Getty

The massive storm brought torrential rainfall, flooding, tornadoes, and strong winds. The fast-rising floodwaters swept away cars and even shut down the New York City subway system.

Both Murphy and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had declared a state of emergency on Wednesday.

On Thursday, de Blasio spoke out about the devastation on Twitter and urged people to take the climate crisis seriously.

"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."

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