The man, who calls himself Mr. Rotten Apple, uploaded the video to Instagram, which quickly went viral. In it, he relaxes on a pool float in a flooded alley while smoking a hookah.
“The weather channel is buggin,” he captioned the post.
Reaction to the video has been mixed. Some people were happy to get a break from the bleak photos of flooding Hurricane Ida left behind. And they took turns roasting him online.
“Dude got the hood looking like the lazy River in splish splash,” one person replied to the post. “Stay calm & adapt! Looks like you’ll survive the Apocalypse,” another person said.
Critics, however, were upset he would risk his life for internet clout. Eight people in New York City have died in the floods and more than 20 are still missing. In neighboring New Jersey, Hurricane Ida killed 10 as the storm churned through the Northeast. It dropped more than 7 inches of rain in the heart of Manhattan. More than 8 inches of rain pelted parts of New Jersey.
Also, that water is a soup of garbage and filth. The New York City sewers backed up have leaked waste into the floodwaters. Critics said the floater risked his life.
“Can you imagine how disgusting that water is?” one person asked. “I wouldn’t float in that wearing a HAZMAT suit.”
“Welp, here comes COVID-21. Thanks, patient zero,” someone else posted.
As the video gained more attention online, several people worried about potential copycats.
More Federal Aid for Hurricane Ida Victims
President Joe Biden said in an address Thursday that he was working to get states Hurricane Ida has damaged more federal help.
“There’s a lot of damage, and I made clear to the governors that my team at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, is on the ground and ready to provide all the assistance that’s needed,” Biden said, speaking from the White House.
“My message to everyone affected is we’re all in this together,” he continued. “The nation is here to help. That’s the message I’ve been making clear to the mayors, governors, energy and utility leaders in the region who my administration has been working closely with over the past few days.”
He also pressed Congress to do more to address climate change, as large swaths of the U.S. struggle to handle worsening natural disasters. Hurricane Ida has cut a large path through the nation affecting most of the Eastern seaboard and Gulf Coast. On the West Coast, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes and businesses and burned millions of acres of land.
“To the country, the past few days of Hurricane Ida and the wildfires in the west and the unprecedented flash floods in New York and New Jersey is yet a reminder that these extreme storms and the climate crisis is here,” Biden said. “We need to act.”