14 killed as remnants of Hurricane Ida pound New York region
The New York area was under a state of emergency on Thursday after the remnants of Hurricane Ida barrelled into the region with furious, wind-driven rain that led to at least 14 deaths, all but halted subway service and destroyed homes in New Jersey.
New York City recorded more rain on Wednesday than it normally does in a month, according to the National Weather Service, and the 3.1 inches that fell in Central Park over the course of an hour shattered a record set only last week.
“This is going down as a historic event,” said Nelson Vaz, a meteorologist at the Weather Service in New York, which issued a flash flood emergency in New York City for the first time.
In New York City, the dead ranged in age from a 2-year-old boy to an 86-year-old woman, the police said. Some drowned in basement apartments in Queens, where a system of makeshift and mostly illegally converted living spaces has sprung up.
Five people were found dead in an apartment complex in Elizabeth, New Jersey, city officials said on Thursday. Another death occurred in Passaic, New Jersey, where the Passaic river breached its banks and fish flopped in the streets.
Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency just before 11.30pm (local time) on Wednesday, saying New York City was “enduring a historic weather event” with “record breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads”. He warned New Yorkers: “Stay inside.”
The city, which issued a travel ban overnight, urged all non-emergency vehicles to stay off roads and highways on Thursday. Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey also declared a state of emergency late on Wednesday night and asked residents to “stay off the roads, stay home, and stay safe”.
The New York City’s transit system’s website showed service was suspended across more than 18 subway lines.
New York Times News Service