By Jack Phillips
Torrential rain spawned significant flooding across northern New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia, and other areas on Wednesday night as the remnants of Hurricane Ida passed over the region.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared an emergency for the city, while officials on Thursday said that at least 22 people died in New York and New Jersey due to the severe weather, according to The Associated Press.
“I’m declaring a state of emergency in New York City tonight. We’re enduring an historic weather event tonight with record breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads,” he wrote.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority suspended subway service for most areas in the city due to floodwaters entering subway stations and the tracks.
New Yorkers and New Jersey residents uploaded footage on Twitter and social media of flooding inundating cars, flooded subways, backflushing toilets, water going into people’s apartments, and buses driving through high waters.
The Newark International Airport was forced to shut down and suspend flights due to flooding. Videos showed the baggage claim area entirely covered in floodwaters.Play Video
As of Thursday morning, the City of New York said there are travel advisories in effect. “Avoid non-emergency travel,” the city wrote on Twitter, adding that “mss transit is very limited and delayed.”
The National Weather Service of New York issued a flash flood emergency for the city, Brooklyn, and Queens, adding that it was the first time in its history that it was forced to do so.
“To be clear… 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 a an hour ago,” the agency wrote.
At least 12 people died in New York City, police said, one of them in a car and eight in flooded basement apartments that often serve as relatively affordable homes in one of the nation’s most expensive housing markets. Officials said at least eight died in New Jersey and three in Pennsylvania’s suburban Montgomery County; one was killed by a falling tree, one drowned in a car and another in a home. An on-duty state trooper in Connecticut was swept away in his cruiser and later taken to a hospital, state police and local authorities said.
Major flooding along the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania swamped highways, submerged cars, and disrupted rail service in the Philadelphia area. In a tweet, city officials predicted “historic flooding” on Thursday as river levels continue to rise. The riverside community of Manayunk remained largely under water.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.