New York City as Ida brings flash flooding

New York |  Thu, September 2, 2021

At least seven people have died in New York as a result of flash flooding, according to police, as Storm Ida wreaked havoc on the northeast, prompting airline cancellations and declaring states of emergency. Ida smashed through Louisiana’s southern state over the weekend, delivering devastating flooding and tornadoes as it made its way north.

As the storm’s remnants produced major flooding in the country’s financial and cultural center, New York state governor Kathy Hochul declared an emergency. The boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens were particularly hard impacted.

Police have not stated how the city’s seven deaths occurred. In neighboring New Jersey, state governor Phil Murphy has proclaimed a state of emergency after CNN reported that at least one person was killed in the city of Passaic, bringing the total number of verified deaths from Ida to 15.

“We’re dealing with a historic weather event tonight, with record-breaking rain across the city, catastrophic flooding, and perilous traffic conditions,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a tweet as the city issued a state of emergency.

Hundreds of flights have been canceled at adjacent LaGuardia and JFK airports, as well as at Newark, where video showed a terminal flooded. Flooding has shut down major roads in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens, among other boroughs. The city’s streets were turned into rivers, and the city’s subway stations were flooded, effectively shutting down services, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Authorities warned locals not to travel on flooded roadways as footage showed automobiles submerged on streets across the city. “You have no idea how deep the water is, and it is too risky,” the National Weather Service (NWS) in New York stated in a tweet.

In just one hour, the NWS recorded 3.15 inches (80 millimeters) of rain in Central Park, making it the wettest hour on record for the area. Residents were advised to flee to higher ground after the city issued a rare flash flood emergency alert.

“Significant and life-threatening flash flooding is probable from the Mid-Atlantic through southern New England,” the NWS warned in an advisory, adding that three to eight inches of rain could fall by Thursday. A tornado ripped through trees and destroyed electrical poles in Annapolis, Maryland, some 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the US capital.

Tornado danger persists Tornado watches are in force for sections of southern Connecticut, northern New Jersey, and southern New York, according to the National Weather Service. “This is extremely dangerous and perhaps deadly flash flooding in Somerset County, as well as others in the vicinity,” the NWS Philadelphia metropolitan area account tweeted late Wednesday, alongside a video of a car stranded in churning water. Ida is anticipated to keep moving north, bringing heavy rain to New England on Thursday. The region was also battered by a rare tropical storm in late August.

President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Louisiana on Friday, where Hurricane Ida wreaked havoc on structures and knocked out electricity to over a million people. Hurricanes are prevalent in the southern United States, but scientists have cautioned that as the ocean surface warms due to climate change, storm activity will increase, posing a greater hazard to coastal populations around the world.

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