Remnants of Hurricane Ida smash into Northeast leaving at least six dead – including four who died ‘trapped in their basement homes’ as floods take over New York City: Mayor declares state of emergency over ‘historic weather’
- New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have been hit by severe floods, with 280,000 people without power
- At least six people are confirmed dead with many more missing
- More than 60 million people throughout the northeast are under flash flood watches
- Tornados were reported in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and social media posts showed homes blown to rubble and roofs torn from buildings
- NYC suspended the subway and banned all non-emergency vehicles from the roads until 5am
- Seven people were reported injured after a post office roof collapsed in Kearny, New Jersey
The remnants of Hurricane Ida have smashed in to the northeastern US, leaving at least six people dead while sparking flash flooding in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and cutting off power to 280,000 people.
The body of man in his seventies was pulled from floodwaters in Passaic, New Jersey, on Thursday after his car was overrun by flash flooding and he was unable to escape, city mayor Hector Lora confirmed.
It came just hours after a 19-year-old man was killed in Maryland when the Rock Creek river burst its banks and overran several apartment blocks, displacing 200 people from around 60 apartments.
And four people were killed in New York City on Wednesday night after they became trapped in their basements amid the flooding, according to the New York Post.
A 66-year-old Brooklyn man was discovered dead in the basement of his Cypress Hills apartment, followed by a woman in her 40s on Grand Central Parkway and later a 22-year-old man and a 45-year-old woman near 90th Avenue in Jamaica, Queens.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency on Wednesday night as a result of what he called a ‘historic weather event’, after New Jersey governor Phil Murphy and New York governor Kathy Hochul had issued the same warning in their respective states earlier in the day.
The National Weather Service’s office in New York said it was issuing a Flash Flood Emergency for New York City for the first time ever – warning people to seek high ground immediately. The ‘Emergency’ warning is the highest level of flood alert – indicating immediate and significant threats to life and property.
‘This particular warning for NYC is the second time we’ve ever issued a Flash Flood Emergency. (It’s the first one for NYC). The first time we’ve issued a Flash Flood Emergency was for Northeast New Jersey an hour ago,’ the agency tweeted.
The city suspended the subway and banned all non-emergency vehicles from the roads until 5am, after 3.15 inches of rain were recorded at Central Park in just one hour.
New York’s flash flood emergency warning now means more than 60 million people throughout the northeast are under flash flood watches while Ida continues to devastate the area. At 2am on Thursday morning, 112,000 were without power in Pennsylvania; 51,000 in New York; 82,000 in New Jersey; and 36,000 in Connecticut.
‘These numbers are climbing. Charge your devices and if you experience an outage – call it in immediately,’ Murphy tweeted.
Having tracked up the east coast of the United States leaving a trail of devastation in her wake, Ida is now whipping towards the city of Boston.
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A cascade of water is seen pouring into a New York City train station at 28th Street
NEW YORK CITY: Trains were seen being swamped with cascades of water, while subway stations were completely flooded
QUEENS, NEW YORK CITY: Members of the FDNY are pictured in waist-high water as they rescue a woman from her car
BURLINGTON, NEW JERSEY: A tornado is seen at the Burlington Bristol Bridge near the state border with Pennsylvania
NEW JERSEY: A tornado was seen touching down in New Jersey in video posted to Twitter on Wednesday
QUEENS, NEW YORK CITY: The inside of an MTA bus was submerged as a driver ploughed through 3-4 feet of rain
The National Weather Service’s office in New York issued a Flash Flood Emergency for New York City for the first time ever
Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency in New York City late on Wednesday night
The storm moved east in the evening, with the National Weather Service confirming at least one tornado and social media posts showing homes blown to rubble and roofs torn from buildings in a southern New Jersey county just outside Philadelphia.
Newark Airport reported four inches of rain in a two hour period, as the baggage area of the airport flooded.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, said in a statement that all flights were suspended and all parking lots were closed due to severe flooding.
Videos from the airport’s baggage room showed water spraying up like a geyser while workers stood in the flood waters.
New Jersey also suspended some of its NJ Transit train lines and buses.
Ida will likely be a tropical rainstorm by the time it reaches the Northeast on Wednesday. Even after it moves off the New England coast later Thursday, residents across the Northeast may still feel the storm’s wrath in the days that follow. Many major metropolitan areas, including Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. are under flash flood watch
LAMBERTVILLE, NEW JERSEY: Cars are seen nearly completely submerged as the storm hit the northeast on Wednesday night
QUEENS, NEW YORK CITY: A homeless man stands in the doorway of a deli during flash flooding caused by storm Ida
QUEENS, NEW YORK CITY: Play was suspended between Diego Schwartzman and Kevin Anderson at Louis Armstrong Stadium during the U.S. Open
‘We’re enduring an historic weather event tonight with record breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads,’ NYC mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted.
‘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.’
The NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM) issued a travel ban around 12:50 am preventing all non-emergency vehicles from travelling on city streets and highways until 5am.
Earlier, OEM had closed access to the Bronx Whitestone Bridge for some types of vehicles. The bridge is a major access point between the New York City boroughs of Queens and the Bronx, and commuting between Long Island and New England.
Queens Boulevard in the neighborhoods of Maspeth and Corona was described as ‘a literal river’ and shocking video shows water flooding a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus while multiple cars were stuck in the water.
‘Hero bus driver managed to get us safely through the 3-4 feet of rain coursing down the boulevard, but only seemed to be getting worse,’ tweeted Joe English, who works in the press office for UNICEF.
‘Finally made it through to higher ground and a fellow passenger exclaims ‘oh no I missed my stop’.’
The MTA noted on its website that nearly all train lines have been suspended, except for the 7 train and the Staten Island Railway – which have been delayed.
‘Train service may be extremely limited tonight because of heavy rainfall and flooding across the region. We strongly recommend you avoid traveling at this time, if you can,’ the agency said.
The agency tweeted: ‘If you’re on a train that’s stuck, stay on that train; the safest place to be is on the train unless you hear otherwise from the conductor.’
Emergency crews were working to evacuate passengers from a stuck E train at 74 Street and Broadway/Roosevelt Avenue, according to the @NYCFireWire account on Twitter.
NEW YORK CITY: The National Weather Service shared a video of a white SUV floating through flowing water in the Big Apple
NEW YORK CITY: The National Weather Service noted that cars appeared to be floating in the shocking videos
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: People are seen walking at Times Square as Ida brought mass flooding and damage
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: People are seen walking at Times Square as Ida brought dumped rain on the Big Apple
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A woman sits on a chair in Times Square as heavy rain hit the city
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A food delivery driver rides on a motorized bike as he works during the storm
The National Weather Service shared a video of a white SUV floating through flowing water in the Big Apple while warning residents: ‘This is perfect example of what you should not do!’
‘Notice the white car towards the end that is floating. This water is too deep to drive through. Turn Around Don’t Drown!!’ the agency tweeted.
Play was also suspended between Diego Schwartzman and Kevin Anderson at Louis Armstrong Stadium during the U.S. Open – despite the venue have a roof – because of wind and rain. It’s nasty out there, Los Angeles Times sports columnist Helene Elliot tweeted.
One video posted to social media purported to show a New York City street rat enjoying a swim in the floodwaters – while another video allegedly showed a man using pool floaties during the storm.
In another video, an apparent GrubHub driver was seen trekking on a bike through flowing flood waters to make a delivery – receiving praise from people on Twitter. Photos also showed other delivery drivers around the city working despite the storm.
Parts of northern Nassau County on Long Island were also under tornado warnings, as the National Weather Service advised there could also be hail from thunderstorms.
As the storm continued into Connecticut, flash flooding could be seen on Elm Street in West Haven while several cars seem to be have trouble on the roads, WVIT reporter Matt Austin tweeted. He wrote that West Haven police had put cones to block roads but flowing flood waters could be seen taking the cones away.
In Stamford, a video posted to Twitter shows firefighters and bystanders appearing to try to push a car against uphill against flowing water as other cars line up behind them.
BRIDGEVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA: Water floods a street amid downpours and high winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ida
Tornados were reported in New Jersey, leaving properties destroyed
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND Buildings were destroyed after the city was hit my strong winds
Earlier in the day, Pennsylvania was blanketed with rain after high water drove some from their homes in Maryland and Virginia.
Thousands of people were evacuated Wednesday after water reached dangerous levels at a dam near Johnstown, a Pennsylvania town nicknamed Flood City.
The Cherry City Volunteer Fire Company tweeted that it had rescued 41 passengers from a school bus stuck in flood waters near Pittsburgh, while 10 students were saved from another school bus in western Maryland.
A tornado was also believed to have touched down along the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.
Ida caused countless school and business closures in Pennsylvania. About 150 roadways maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation were closed and many smaller roadways also were impassable.
Some areas near Johnstown, whose history includes several deadly floods, saw 5 inches or more of rain by mid-afternoon, an inundation that triggered an evacuation order for those downstream from the Wilmore dam.
The Cherry City Volunteer Fire Company tweeted that it had rescued 41 passengers from a school bus stuck in flood waters near Pittsburgh
Another view of the Pennsylvania school bus shows it in flooded waters as people were rescued by emergency crews
The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said that 10 students and a driver were rescued off a flooded school bus in western Maryland
BRIDGEVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA: Clean up from flooding on Baldwin street continues after downpours and high winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ida hit the area Wednesday
BRIDGEVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA: Emergency crews are seen cleaning up after flooding on Baldwin Street
OAKDALE, PENNSYLVANIA: Water is pumped from the basement of a business on Noblestown road during clean up from flooding after downpours and high winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ida
Cambria County emergency management director and 911 center head Art Martynuska said the water level at the Wilmore dam reached a height that required evacuation.
A 911 dispatcher in Mantua Township, N.J., told The Weather Channel that people were trapped in their basements and that roofs flew off of homes while there were reports of some severe injuries.
There were also reports of multiple buildings with roofs ripped off, damaged trees and debris blocking roads in the north of Philadelphia. Homes were also damaged in Chester County.
Nearby Hinckston Run Dam was also being monitored but appeared stable by late afternoon, he said, by which time water levels at Wilmore dam were receding.
The storm – now a tropical depression – is moving into the northeast, where two to three inches of rain are expected every hour Wednesday evening
BRIDGEVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA: A car is stranded on a flooded street on Wednesday as emergency crews stand in the background
WILKES-BARRE, PENNSYLVANIA: Garbage and debris clogs under the St. Mary’s Road bridge causing water to exceed its banks
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND: Debris is strewn along West Street as crews work to clean up the mess
Bristol, Virginia: A truck is seen in flood waters nearly rising to the bed of the pickup in Virginia on Monday
‘If that trend continues we’ll be allowing folks to return back to their residences shortly, hopefully by this evening,’ Martynuska said.
Both dams were considered high-hazard dams that are likely to kill someone were they to fail.
Evacuees were taken to a nearby high school with help from the Red Cross, National Guard, local transit authority and school transportation services, he said.
The National Weather Service had predicted flooding from what remained of Hurricane Ida, saying steep terrain and even city streets were particularly vulnerable to a band of severe weather that extended from the Appalachians into Massachusetts.
Northern Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and eastern West Virginia were expected to see the highest impacts from the storm’s remnants – which has already caused extensive flooding in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi and billions of dollars of damage.
Flash flooding knocked about 20 homes off their foundations and washed several trailers away in Virginia’s mountainous western corner, where about 50 people were rescued and hundreds were evacuated. News outlets reported that one person was unaccounted for in the small mountain community of Hurley.
Water had almost reached the ceilings of basement units when crews arrived at an apartment complex in Rockville, Maryland, on Wednesday.
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