Storm Ida: Boy, 2, among 14 killed as catastrophic floods hit New York

·4-min read

At least 14 people are dead after Hurricane Ida battered large swaths of the US.

People were killed in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania as basement apartments suddenly filled with water, rivers and creeks swelled to record levels and roads turned into car-swallowing canals.

Eight people died when they became trapped in flooded basements in New York City, including a two-year-old boy.

Five people were found dead in an apartment complex in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the city’s mayor and spokesperson told local media.

Outside Philadelphia, officials reported “multiple fatalities,” saying no additional details were immediately available.

The ferocious storm also spawned tornadoes, including one that ripped apart homes and toppled silos in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, south of Philadelphia.

Water from record rainfall cascaded into New York City subway tunnels, trapping at least 17 trains and forcing the cancelation of service throughout the night and early morning.

Videos online showed passengers standing on seats in cars filled with water.

All passengers were evacuated safely, officials said.

On Thursday morning, the nation’s largest city was slow to recover from catastrophic flooding that was reminiscent of Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

The National Weather Service recorded 3.15 inches (8.91 centimeters) of rain in Central Park in one hour Wednesday night, far surpassing the previous recorded high of 1.94 inches (4.92 centimeters) that fell in one hour during Henri on August 21.

Scientists have warned such weather extremes will be more common with man-made global warming.

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 rain in the tri-state area ended by daybreak Thursday as rescuers searched for more stranded people and braced for potentially finding more bodies.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency in late on Wednesday.

“We’re enduring an historic weather event tonight with record breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads,” he said.

Police in Connecticut were investigating a report of a person missing due to the flooding in Woodbury.

In Passaic, New Jersey, a 70-year-old man was swept away after his family was rescued from their car.

Among the other deaths reported in New York City, a 48-year-old woman and a 66-year-old man died after being found at separate residences, and a 43-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man both died after being found inside a home.

Causes of death and identifications were pending.

Heavy winds and drenching rains collapsed the roof of a U.S. Postal Service building in New Jersey and threatened to overrun a dam in Pennsylvania.

In New York City, officials banned travel for all but emergency vehicles until early Thursday and warned against unnecessary travel into the morning.

The FDR Drive in Manhattan, and the Bronx River Parkway were under water during the storm.

Garbage bobbed in the water rushing down streets.

Some subway and rail service had resumed Thursday morning.

The National Weather Service office in New York issued its first-ever set of flash flood emergencies in the region Wednesday night, alerts only sent in the most dangerous conditions.

Meteorologists warned that rivers likely won’t crest for a few more days, raising the possibility of more widespread flooding.

Newark International Airport shut down Wednesday night as videos showed water rushing through a terminal.

The airport was allowing limited flights Thursday.

Officials said 370 flights have been canceled so far.

Amtrak service was canceled between Philadelphia and Boston, resuming in limited capacity Thursday morning.

New Jersey Transit train service remained suspended with the exception of the Atlantic City line. Buses were running with myriad cancelations and delays. Transit officials cautioned against traveling unless it’s “absolutely essential.”

At least 220,000 customers were without power in the region, with most of the outages in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

More than 35,000 customers were without power Thursday morning in New York City, Long Island and its northern suburbs.

Southern New England awoke Thursday to inundated roads, commuter delays and an ongoing flash flood warning.

Some students at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut were forced to relocate from their dorms.

In Plainville, Connecticut, authorities said they used boats to rescue 18 people from a flooded neighbourhood.

A section of Route 24 in southeastern Massachusetts was shut down because of water on the highway.

In Portsmouth, Rhode Island, a road crumbled under the onslaught of rain.

The National Weather Service said it was investigating a possible tornado touchdown on Cape Cod around 1 a.m. Thursday. Meteorologist Bill Simpson said reported damage including downed trees.

The Atlantic hurricane season is far from over. Larry became a hurricane Thursday morning, forecast to rapidly intensify into a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm by Sunday.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said it’s moving west but remains far from any coast.

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