Sept 2 (Reuters) – 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, with media reporting at least nine deaths.
“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.
At least one person was killed as the flooding inundated the New Jersey city of Passaic, Mayor Hector Lora told CNN.
NBC New York reported that one more person had died in New Jersey and seven had died in New York City, including a 2-year-old boy. Local media reported that people had been trapped in their basements as the storm sent water surging through the city.
Lora said the body of a man in his seventies was retrieved from floodwaters. The vehicle the man was riding in was swept away by the water and firefighters were swept under the vehicle, preventing them reaching him, CNN reported.
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 5 am (0900 GMT) on Thursday due to the weather, city authorities said on Twitter.
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.
IMAGE: A vehicle moves along a flooded road as safety barriers float in floodwaters in Williamsburg, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, US September 1, 2021, in this still image taken from video obtained from social media.