Storm Ida triggers deadly flooding in New York and New Jersey
The governors of New York and New Jersey declared a state of emergency late on Wednesday as record-breaking rains from tropical storm Ida led to flooding and hazardous conditions on the roads, killing at least 26 people on the US East Coast.
"I am declaring a state of emergency to help New Yorkers affected by tonight's storm," New York Governor Kathy Hochul said on Twitter.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio described the flooding and weather on Wednesday night as a "historic weather event". The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency in New York City for the first time.
I’m declaring a state of emergency in New York City tonight.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) September 2, 2021
We’re enduring an historic weather event tonight with record breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads.
At least 12 people died in New York City, police said, one of them in a car and eight in flooded basement apartments that often serve as relatively affordable homes in one of the nation’s most expensive housing markets. Officials said at least eight died in New Jersey and three in Pennsylvania's suburban Montgomery County; one was killed by a falling tree, one drowned in a car and another in a home. An on-duty state trooper in Connecticut was swept away in his cruiser and later taken to a hospital, state police and local authorities said.
Nearly all New York City subway lines were suspended late on Wednesday as the remnants of Ida brought torrential rain and the threat of flash floods and tornadoes to parts of the northern mid-Atlantic, CNN reported earlier.
All non-emergency vehicles were banned from New York City's streets until 5am (9am GMT) on Thursday due to the weather, city authorities said on Twitter.
New York is flooding again pic.twitter.com/4zX1dfoFU4— Dr. Lucky Tran (@luckytran) September 2, 2021
At least five flash flood emergencies were issued on Wednesday evening by the National Weather Service, stretching from west of Philadelphia through northern New Jersey.
Earlier in the night, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy also declared a state of emergency. He wrote on Twitter that 81,740 power outages were reported late on Wednesday.
A tornado swept through New Jersey's Gloucester County, damaging multiple homes, according to CNN affiliate WPVI.
All New Jersey Transit rail services apart from the Atlantic City Rail Line were suspended due to the extreme weather, the service said on its website.
All courts are free if someone wants to practice #USOpen pic.twitter.com/HxguQ3ORIh— Vanni Gibertini (@vgibertini) September 2, 2021
The storm damage from Ida had astounded officials on Wednesday, three days after the powerful hurricane pounded southern Louisiana, and reconnaissance flights revealed entire communities devastated by wind and floods.
Tornadoes spawned by the storm ripped through parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, images on social media showed.
New Jersey's Newark Liberty Airport said on Twitter it was experiencing "severe flooding". It said it resumed "limited flight operations" close to midnight after all flight activity was suspended late on Wednesday.
Social media images showed water gushing over New York City's subway platforms and trains. Subway service was "extremely limited" due to the flooding, the Metropolitan Transit Authority said.
First responders evacuated people from the subway system, the acting chair and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Janno Lieber, said in a statement.
De Blasio urged people to stay home.
"Please stay off the streets tonight and let our first responders and emergency services get their work done. If you're thinking of going outside, don't. Stay off the subways. Stay off the roads. Don't drive into these heavy waters. Stay inside," he wrote on Twitter.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)
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