33-year-old Shakia Garrett of New Jersey was found dead on September 2, after she attempted to rescue her neighbors in an extreme flood that slammed a New Jersey apartment complex during Hurricane Ida, the Atlanta Black Star reported. Her mother Sharon recalled the harrowing moment that she received a phone call from her daughter just moments before her death.
“That day she called me and told me, ‘I can’t swim, Mommy,’” Sharon told NJ.com. “She was crying. We just couldn’t get to her.”
“She was the sweetest girl who got along with everybody,” Sharon said of Garrett’s loving spirit. “She had a very good heart.’’
Garrett’s area in Elizabeth was hit hard with 12 inches of rain upon Ida’s devastating arrival that rocked the East Coast on September 1 and lasted until September 2. According to Garrett’s close friend Salaam Ismiall, she was attempting to save the Torres family who lived on the 1st floor alongside her. As she rushed to help her neighbors escape the deadly flooding, Garrett was engulfed in neck-high water that quickly submerged the 1st floor of the complex. In addition to Garrett, the three members of the Torres family were unable to survive.