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.
Article continues below
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.
"Earlier tonight I declared a State of Emergency in New York State within the counties of Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester in response to major flooding due to Tropical Depression Ida", New York Governor Kathy said.
"Torrential rainfall has resulted in flash flooding, power outages, travel disruptions and damage in impacted areas posing a threat to public health and safety. I am directing State agencies, including the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the Department of Transportation, Thruway Authority, and others to take appropriate and immediate action to help respond and recover from this disaster.
"This State of Emergency eliminates potential hurdles for local response activities and provides the necessary tools to make sure New Yorkers can quickly and safely recover. I encourage New Yorkers in these affected areas to please pay attention to local weather reports, stay off the roads and avoid all unnecessary travel during this time." ■