The US Meteorological Institute, the National Weather Service (NWS), issued at least five life-threatening flood warnings from Philadelphia to northern New Jersey as the remnants of Hurricane Ida moved east on Wednesday, Reuters reports.
NWS writes on Twitter that This is the second time they have ever issued such a warning to New York, and the first time to northeastern New Jersey.
In New York, the subway was almost completely halted when the storm hit late Wednesday, inundating large parts of the multimillion-dollar city.
New York’s mayor declared a state of emergency in what he called a “historic climate event” with record amounts of rain, flooding and hazardous road conditions. He appealed to residents not to go out.
“Please, get off the streets tonight and let the rescue service and others do their work. If you’re planning to go out, don’t. Get off the subway. Get off the roads. Don’t drive in this heavy rain. Stay indoors,” Bill de Blasio wrote on Twitter.
According to the NWS, 80 millimeters of rain fell in Central Park in one hour, much more than the 50 millimeters that fell during Tropical Storm Henry on August 22, which was then the park’s record.
At least two deaths have been reported, one in New York and one in New Jersey where a person is said to have drowned in their car in Passaic City, he writes NBC News.
Passaic Police Chief Louis Gentile says all types of vehicles are stuck in water and no one should go out on the roads thinking they are safe in their cars.
– We have fire trucks, ambulances, people who are stuck and not getting out of the water. It’s very dangerous, he told NBCNews.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy also declared a state of emergency when the storm broke out in the wake of Hurricane Ida. Pictures on social media show the devastation caused by tornadoes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. At least nine homes were destroyed in Moleka Hill, New Jersey, according to Reuters.
In Pennsylvania, thousands of people have been evacuated.
New Jersey Newark Airport Liberty was forced to suspend large portions of traffic after “severe flooding”. By midnight local time, limited air traffic resumed. New York’s LaGuardia and JFK airports also reported traffic disruptions.
There are also major disruptions with the cancellation of train traffic in the affected areas.
Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana three days ago and caused extensive destruction and at least seven deaths.
Reconnaissance flights that began on Wednesday revealed that entire communities were devastated by storms and floods after the cyclone. About a million households remain without power in Louisiana and it may take several weeks before they return.
On Thursday, Ida is expected to move across the Atlantic.
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