Ida Floods NYC Area: Live Updates, Photos and Video
The New York City area was under a state of emergency early Thursday after the remnants of Hurricane Ida barreled into the region with furious, wind-driven rain that led to at least eight deaths and all but halted subway service, destroyed homes in New Jersey and resulted in a tornado warning for the Bronx.
The rain on Wednesday night — 3.1 inches in Central Park in an hour — shattered a record set only last week, when 1.94 inches of rain fell in the park during Tropical Storm Henri. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency in New York City for the first time.
At least eight deaths were reported from the flooding, seven in New York City and one in Passaic, N.J.
The victims in New York, whose names were not released, were located in four different scenes throughout the city, and ranged in ages from 2 years old to 66, according to the New York Police Department. Official causes of death will be determined later by the city’s medical examiner, the department said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency just before 11:30 p.m. 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.
Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey also declared a state of emergency late Wednesday night and asked residents to “stay off the roads, stay home, and stay safe.”
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority advised customers in an email alert late Wednesday: “Train service is extremely limited, if not even suspended, because of heavy rainfall and flooding across the region.” The transit system’s website showed service was suspended across more than 18 subway lines.
All New Jersey rail service, with the exception of the Atlantic City line, was suspended, New Jersey Transit said.
At Newark Liberty International Airport, 3.24 inches of rain were recorded between 8 and 9 p.m., the Weather Service said. The airport said in a statement on Twitter that it was experiencing “severe flooding,” confirming videos posted on social media that showed deep water pooling inside.
“All flight activity is currently suspended & travelers are strongly advised to contact their airline for the latest flight & service resumption information,” the statement said. “Passengers are being diverted from ground-level flooded areas.”
Some flights resumed about 90 minutes later, the airport said.
In Passaic, at least one person was believed to have died after being trapped in a car in the rising floodwaters, Mayor Hector C. Lora said in an interview. The authorities were preparing to evacuate residents in part of the city, after the Passaic River breached its banks and caused significant flooding downtown.
Around 9 p.m., the Weather Service issued a tornado warning for parts of the Bronx, after radar indicated a tornado had formed in the area.
The flash flood emergency issued by the Weather Service was more severe than a flash flood watch or even a flash flood warning. The agency defines such emergencies as “exceedingly rare situations when extremely heavy rain is leading to a severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage,” typically with “life-threatening water rises resulting in water rescues/evacuations.”
At times, strong wind gusts blew the rain sideways, enough to delay a U.S. Open match at Louis Armstrong Stadium in Queens on Wednesday night, as rain made its way into the stadium in spite of its roof.
The storm system, advancing on a path to southern New England, brought drenching rain that could lead to life-threatening flooding, meteorologists said.
As the stormy weather moved northeast on Wednesday, it prompted a string of tornado warnings across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, including a warning for Philadelphia after the Weather Service said a “large and extremely dangerous” tornado had been observed south of the city, near Mullica Hill, N.J.
“You are in a life-threatening situation,” the service said in a statement. “Flying debris may be deadly to those caught without shelter.”
Images and video circulating on social media on Wednesday showed homes that had been damaged as well as felled trees in the Harrison Township area in Gloucester County. The Harrison Township Police Department was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday night.
Wenonah, another small borough in Gloucester County, in southern New Jersey, was heavily flooded and “suffered extensive damage following this evening’s tornado event,” the mayor, John R. Dominy, wrote on Facebook. He urged residents to call 911 for emergencies and to stay home or in a safe place.
“Do not venture out. Many trees are unstable. Third, please do not approach downed wires as many may be live,” he wrote.
He said the authorities were assessing the damage and added, “We do not have an estimate of when power will be restored.”
Early Thursday morning, about 100,000 customers in Pennsylvania, 63,000 in New Jersey and 50,000 in New York were without power, according to reports compiled by PowerOutage.us.
Residents in Lambertville, N.J., about 40 miles north of Philadelphia, posted photos that showed streets inundated with brown water, cars submerged up to their tires and flooded basements.
The storm, which hit Louisiana on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane, has been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The morning commute on Thursday could be affected by drainage flooding in much of New England and the Mid-Atlantic, particularly in metropolitan areas, meteorologists said.
In light of the flash flood watch, New York City Emergency Management issued a travel advisory for Wednesday into Thursday morning. At a news conference on Wednesday, Mr. de Blasio urged New York City residents to watch out for deceptively deep bodies of water that could appear to be shallow.
“We’ll get through this one, too,” Mr. de Blasio said. “Let’s get this storm by us.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York ordered state agencies to prepare emergency response plans and told residents to exercise caution. Ms. Hochul also warned of the possibility of a tornado in the downstate area. More than 5,000 utility workers across the state have been prepared for damage and restoration responses, she said.
Reporting was contributed by Anne Barnard, Isabella Grullón Paz, Matthew Haag, Eduardo Medina, Azi Paybarah, Derrick Bryson Taylor and Ashley Wong.
City buses turned into amphibious vehicles, plowing through several feet of water, past orange traffic cones floating like buoys in the muck.
Subway stations roared with the sounds of rushing water that cascaded through platforms and down the stairs as if from a churning waterfall, flooding the tracks below.
In parts of Brooklyn, cars moved through lakes of mud-brown water, their headlights shining on waves that formed in front of their wheels and lapped at the feet of brownstones.
The sudden inundation from the remnants of Ida transformed familiar scenes of life in New York into otherworldly and waterlogged chaos on Wednesday night. The rain continued into early Thursday morning.
It was frightening and foreboding — a vision, many said, of the future as climate change produces more extreme and heavy rainfall during storms.
Nearly every subway line in the city was shut down, and Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency, citing the “record-breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads.”
“If you’re thinking of going outside, don’t,” he said on Twitter. “Stay off the subways. Stay off the roads. Don’t drive into these heavy waters.”
The National Weather Service placed New York City under a flash flood emergency for the first time after the city was socked with torrential rainfall.
Over a single hour — between 8:51 and 9:51 p.m. — Central Park recorded 3.15 inches of rain, smashing a record set only last week, when 1.94 inches of rain fell in the park during Tropical Storm Henri.
Not everyone was heeding the official warnings to stay inside.
Social media filled with images of delivery workers driving or pushing bicycles through the floodwaters. One video posted on Twitter showed a man floating on an inflatable raft in a flooded alleyway, casually puffing on a hookah. Other videos showed cars trapped on flooded boulevards.
“We are seeing way too many reports of water rescues and stranded motorists,” the New York office of the National Weather Service said on Twitter. “Do not drive through flooded roadways. You do not know how deep the water is and it is too dangerous.”
All across the city, wild scenes were unfolding.
City officials warned that 60-mile-an-hour wind gusts were expected. And the wind-driven rain poured through the roof of Louis Armstrong Stadium, pelting fans who opened umbrellas and delaying a match at the U.S. Open in Queens.
The Film Forum, an art-house cinema in Manhattan, flooded during a showing of the French film “La Piscine”, leading audience members to joke that it was an immersive experience.
On Broadway, theatergoers watching “Pass Over” eyed one another warily as some half-dozen screeching emergency alerts rippled through audience members’ phones — though the actors stayed in character.
The stunning storm was deadly serious, with unpredictable risks unfolding as the sluicing rain and gusting wind continued in the dark, taking some motorists and walkers by surprise. Residents in some neighborhoods posted videos of water rushing in through closed doors, filling hallways.
“We are BEYOND not ready for climate change,” Mark Levine, a City Council representative, declared on Twitter.
Jesus Jiménez and Maggie Astor contributed reporting.
At least seven people in New York City died on Wednesday night after heavy rains and flooding pounded the city, according to the New York Police Department.
The victims, whose names were not released, were found at four different locations in Queens and Brooklyn, and ranged in age from 2 to 66, according to the police. Official causes of death will be determined later by the city’s medical examiner, the department said.
Three victims, a 2-year-old boy, a 48-year-old woman and 50-year-old man, were found at a home in Queens around 10 p.m., according to the police department. They were pronounced dead at the scene, the police said.
Over the next 90 minutes, the police found the other victims, located at two more homes in Queens and one home in Brooklyn.
The deaths came as remnants of Hurricane Ida dropped record levels of rain throughout the New York area.
More than 7 inches of rain fell at Central Park, between 4 a.m. Wednesday and 4 a.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. At Newark Liberty International Airport, that figure was 8.44 inches.
Tiffany May contributed reporting.
Stephanie Keith for The New York Times
Stephanie Keith for The New York Times
Stephanie Keith for The New York Times
Stephanie Keith for The New York Times
Stephanie Keith for The New York Times
The remnants of Hurricane Ida tore through the New York City region on Wednesday night, dumping record rain and creating flooding in New Jersey and the five boroughs. Here’s a collection of photos of the storm.
About 200 people were rescued from a train near Newark Airport on Wednesday night as heavy rains and flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Ida shut down major train routes and other transit passageways throughout the New York region.
The passengers had been stuck in a train near the airport for about three and a half hours before they were rescued at about 9 p.m., Jim Smith, spokesman for New Jersey Transit, said. No injuries were reported, he said.
The storm flooded the region and poured water throughout New York City’s underground transit system, halting what is normally 24-hour service. Janno Lieber, acting chair and C.E.O. of the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said in a statement that “massive amounts of water” from an “epic storm” had created “severe disruptions.”
New Yorkers should not travel until further notice, he said.
New York City Transit officials offered stark advise to any riders attempting to travel Wednesday night. “If you’re on a train that’s stuck, stay on that train,” the transit system said on Twitter, calling it “the safest place to be” unless transit officials on scene advise otherwise.
Extreme storms have battered New York’s 24-hour train service in recent years. Service was stalled for several days following damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. And in 2015, officials shut down subway service in anticipation of a severe snowstorm, which turned out to be milder than expected.
At the 96th Street train station in Manhattan, Mario Villa, a cook at Tartina, had been waiting since just after 10 p.m. to get to his home in Queens. At midnight, sitting on a stalled No. 1 train beside a co-worker, he said, “We’ll wait. We don’t get upset. We just have to wait.”
Andy Newman, Anne Barnard, Stacy Cowley and Christiaan Triebert contributed reporting.
Torrential rain brought by remnants of Hurricane Ida caused severe flooding across parts of Newark on Wednesday night and into Thursday, rendering streets impassable and prompting Newark Liberty International Airport to temporarily suspend flights.
At least one video circulating on Twitter showed people in Newark attempting to cross a street using a canoe. Another showed cars nearly submerged on a roadway in the pouring rain. In a brief clip from inside the airport, rising waters were spotted where passengers would normally be hurrying to and from their flights. There was also another video of a baggage area that was severely flooded while at least two workers remained on top of machinery. Conditions were just as bad in nearby Jersey City.
At Newark Liberty International Airport, 3.24 inches of rain was recorded between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., the National Weather Service said, and that more than eight inches of rain in total had fallen in Newark on Wednesday. A flood warning was in effect for the area through about 7 a.m. Thursday, the Weather Service said.
For several hours the airport had closed its parking lots and for at least an hour all flights were halted. But officials quickly resumed limited flight operations, urging customers to check with their carrier for flight statuses.
Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency late Wednesday night and asked residents to “stay off the roads, stay home, and stay safe.” More than 70,000 customers in New Jersey were without power by early Thursday morning, according to reports compiled by PowerOutage.us.
Before it dumped several inches of rain on New York City, the tenacious remnants of Hurricane Ida traveled through the Mid-Atlantic on Wednesday, spawning several tornadoes in Maryland and overtopping a dam in central Pennsylvania.
As the stormy weather moved northeast, it prompted a string of tornado warnings and watches across parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The National Weather Service in Baltimore warned that high winds could cause damage to houses and mobile homes, and asked residents in the southeastern part of the state to take cover.
Mitchelle Stephenson, a spokeswoman for Annapolis, said a tornado that landed near the city had left about 2,500 residents without power, and that the city had received reports of fallen trees. The fire and police departments had closed streets to assess the damage, according to Ms. Stephenson, who said no injuries had been reported.
Forecasters were concerned about flooded rivers, and Wilmore Dam in central Pennsylvania was “overtopping” at one point with approximately three feet of rainwater, said John Banghoss, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in State College, Pa. About 42,000 residents were ordered to move to higher ground.
A flash flood emergency was issued for northeastern Chester County, northwestern Delaware County, and Montgomery County in southeastern Pennsylvania. The Weather Service said it had received reports of rainfall totals of 4.5 to 7 inches.
The storm will next move into New England, which was previously hit by Henri and Elsa this summer. Henri, which made landfall in southwestern Rhode Island on Aug. 22 as a tropical storm, sent lashing bands of rain across much of New England.
Ida is expected to do the same.
“It’s going to drop heavy rain before it leaves,” Dan Thompson, a meteorologist with the Weather Service, said.
Reporting was contributed by Isabella Grullón Paz, Eduardo Medina, Derrick Bryson Taylor and Ashley Wong.