Well folks, we made it to Friday — and Labor Day weekend — but it’s been a hectic week (to say the least) so let’s take a minute to acknowledge that and breathe.

How’s everyone doing? OK? I hope so. You’re reading The Inquirer Morning Newsletter, and today we dive into all things Ida, the hurricane whose remnants barreled into the Philly region, killing at least five people. We get into the devastating aftermath and resources you need to navigate these next few days and weeks.

But first, a note to readers: We’re taking a short break for the holiday weekend and will be back in inboxes on Sept. 8. Try not to miss us too much, but be sure to follow along with all our coverage at inquirer.com.

We’d also love to hear your thoughts. Send us a reply, and let’s start a conversation.

— Sam Ruland (@sam_ruland, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

Ida’s legacy: 5 deaths, 7 tornadoes, record flooding, hundreds of water rescues, one incredibly soggy mess

One of the most disruptive storms in the Philly region’s weather history was blamed Thursday for killing five people, causing record flood levels, spawning at least six tornadoes, and leaving some people in disbelief.

Record flooding along the Schuylkill and significant spillage from the Delaware forced evacuation of homes, swamped businesses, and rendered major highways impassable.

The city was spared tornado damage this go-round, but its western suburbs weren’t.

“You can’t imagine the damage,” said Giny Cairon-Vitelli, who lives in Upper Dublin Township, Montgomery County, where a woman was killed when a powerful tornado sent a tree crashing through her house.

At least four other deaths were reported, including that of a 65-year-old man who drove into floodwaters of the Unami Creek.

Across the Delaware River in Mullica Hill, Gloucester County, tornadic winds blew debris “a thousand feet in the air,” according to the National Weather Service, whose investigators were examining eight possible tornado sites. The twister raced across the feed cornfields of the state’s biggest dairy farm, destroying acres of the crop, damaging every building, and killing three of the farm’s 1,400 cows.

Also, dozens of sewage and stormwater pipes overflowed during the surge from Ida’s remnants Wednesday into Thursday, emptying untreated water directly into Philadelphia’s major waterways.

Now, Pennsylvania residents and businesses are waiting to find out whether the commonwealth will receive federal relief for damage from Ida. Biden hinted at aid for states but it’s unclear whether Pa. and N.J. will get some.

Reporters Anthony Wood, Erin McCarthy and Vinny Vella recap the storm and its damage

Need some help? Take a look at these resources we compiled to help you navigate storm recovery.

Reopening resources

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

“Darlin’, I’m just tryin’ to tell ya that there’s always been a rainbow hangin’ over your head.” Seemed appropriate @denisewalksphilly.

Tag your Instagram posts with #OurPhilly, and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature here and give you a shout-out.

That's interesting

🏙️ Made In America’s return to the Ben Franklin Parkway this weekend has made Philly the third-most-popular destination for Airbnb guests during Labor Day. Festival organizers expect 50,000 to 60,000 attendees per day at the two-day music event — the largest in the city since the start of the pandemic.

🎵 And speaking of the music festival, we’ve got you covered with the 10 acts you CANNOT MISS. From Justin Bieber to Lil Baby, this lineup is insane.

🍽️ Philadelphians have been readying the welcome wagon as hundreds of Afghan evacuees arrive in the city. Here’s how a crew of Philly restaurants and volunteers came together to feed Afghan evacuees at the Philadelphia airport.

🦅 Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon might be spending a lot of time during NFC East games this season trying to figure out how to keep the opponent’s running game in check. The good news for Gannon is he has the personnel to do this, KC Joyner writes.

💸 It looks as if Philadelphia’s Jewish museum is emerging from bankruptcy. The National Museum of American Jewish History has received approval from a U.S. Bankruptcy Court for a reorganization plan that includes selling its building on Independence Mall to a former board member who will then lease it back to the museum for a nominal fee.


“As the news shifts to the shocking aftermath of Hurricane Ida, many Americans may think the Afghan war is over. Not so. The searing scenes of Kabul’s fall are having a powerful impact on America’s global image, including the abandonment of Afghan allies.” Columnist Trudy Rubin writes that the final U.S. defeat — set in motion by former President Donald Trump and finalized by Biden — raises questions about who and what our country is willing to fight for.

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That’s one way to navigate the troubled waters. Be careful out there, fam. ❤️