Emergency declared in New York City as Ida batters, floods region


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  2 weeks ago  •  25 comments

By:   Phil Helsel and The Associated Press (NBC News)

Emergency declared in New York City as Ida batters, floods region
Heavy rains lashed New York City, New Jersey and Pennsylvania Wednesday as remnants of Hurricane Ida moved through the region, causing floods and at least one tornado.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

A "flash flood emergency" was issued for the first time in New York City as heavy rains from the remnants of Hurricane Ida lashed the region late Wednesday, spawning at least one tornado and causing flooding, officials said.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency and told people to stay off the roads and the subways.

"We're enduring an historic weather event tonight with record breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads," de Blasio tweeted.

This guy is wading through nearly waist-high water to reach his vehicle - as streets are flooding quickly in Westchester @NBCNewYorkpic.twitter.com/T6RN2AxfTD — Adam Harding (@HardingReports) September 2, 2021

Central Park saw more than 3 inches of rain in one hour, the National Weather Service said. Video showed flooded streets in the city.

These are historic images to save. The doppler radar storm total estimates. Purple is 5" and up to red 10". You rarely see this wide/long of a heavy rain foot print outside of a land falling tropical system. The amount and speed it fell is unheard of in the Northeast. pic.twitter.com/NY5GyCmVq6 — Bill Karins (@BillKarins) September 2, 2021

The New York City Fire Department was responding to rescue calls in all five boroughs, a department spokesperson said. The effort including using high-axle vehicles bought after Superstorm Sandy.

New York City's subway system was either severely limited or suspended because of the weather and flooding, the transit agency said.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared of state of emergency, which allows for state aid.

New York City airports LaGuardia and JFK reported flight disruptions, and New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport suspended all flight activity but limited operations later returned.

Video showed flooded streets and some disabled vehicles in Elmhurst, Queens.

The weather service retweeted video of Brooklyn that showed cars driving through water that resembled a river with an urgent warning: "This water is too deep to drive through. Turn Around Don't Drown!!"

Heavy flooding in Newark, NJ on Sept. 1, 2021.Courtesy Nick Kurczewski

New Jersey's governor declared a state of emergency due to the severe weather. "Stay off the roads, stay home, and stay safe," Gov. Phil Murphy said.

The mayor of Passaic, New Jersey, told NBC New York that at least one person had drowned in the city where there was said to be 4 to 5 feet of water on the ground. The mayor declared a state of emergency.

really bad flooding on queens blvd and broadway in elmhurst pic.twitter.com/TGJrmiHHX6 — victoria (@mamastringbeans) September 2, 2021

Mayor Hector C. Lora livestreamed the scene as cars were submerged up to their headlights in a flooded section of the city of around 70,000. Some cars were struck in the middle of the street.

Passaic's Deputy Chief of Police Louis Gentile said that all kinds of vehicles have gotten stuck, and warned residents not to be fooled by thinking they have a powerful car.

We have fire trucks stuck, we have ambulances stuck, we have people that are still stuck and not getting out of the water," he said. "It's very serious."

At least one tornado struck Mullica Hill, New Jersey, forecasters said. At least nine homes were destroyed, NBC Philadelphia reported. There were reports of damage across southeast Pennsylvania Pennsylvania and in New Jersey, National Weather Service Meteorologist Sarah Johnson said, but survey teams will have to confirm if they were more tornadoes.

New Jersey Transit said rail service was suspended.

Soaking rains from the remnants of Hurricane Ida prompted the evacuations of thousands of people Wednesday after water reached dangerous levels at a dam near Johnstown, a Pennsylvania town nicknamed Flood City.

Some areas near Johnstown, whose history includes several deadly floods, saw 5 inches or more of rain by mid-afternoon, an inundation that triggered an evacuation order for those downstream from the Wilmore dam.

Cambria County emergency management director and 911 center head Art Martynuska said the water level at the Wilmore dam reached a height that required evacuation.

Nearby Hinckston Run Dam was also being monitored but appeared stable by late afternoon, he said, by which time water levels at Wilmore dam were receding.

Gov. Tom Wolf said he was sending emergency responders to Bucks County, including National Guard high-water vehicles and an urban search-and-rescue team, in southeastern Pennsylvania following tornadoes and flooding.

Johnson, of the weather service office in Mount Holly, New Jersey, which also covers Philadelphia and southeastern Pennsylvania, said there were reports of as much as 7 inches of rain Wednesday.

Pennsylvania was blanketed with rain after high water drove some from their homes in Maryland and Virginia. The storm killed a teenager, two people were not accounted for and a tornado was believed to have touched down along the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

The severe weather occurred as Post-Tropical Cyclone Ida, which hit Louisiana on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane, was causing heavy rainfall in the region.

The hurricane and its remnants knocked out power to hundreds of thousands in Louisiana and beyond and the storm is considered a factor in at least seven deaths.


jrDiscussion - desc
Freshman Silent
1  Gulliver-Swift    2 weeks ago

When it rains as fast as it has in the last couple of tropical storms that have hit NYC even buildings up near the highest point in Manhattan have suffered basement flooding with geysers of water coming up out of drain openings and toilets.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
1.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Gulliver-Swift @1    2 weeks ago

It sure does. My kids are telling me that they lost power for a couple of hours in Manhattan.

Freshman Silent
1.1.1  Gulliver-Swift  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1.1    2 weeks ago

It's easy to forget in Manhattan that you are on an island and not a very large one. But these storms are sure helping us remember.

Professor Principal
1.1.2  Tessylo  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1.1    2 weeks ago

Ida ripped through Maryland yesterday and a tornado touched down in Annapolis.  Several areas in Frederick with flooding where a couple of school buses got caught in the flooding.  The driver and kids are all safe.  I don't think there were any deaths involved here.  

Professor Principal
2  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

Professor Principal
3  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago


This flood emergency is being blamed on climate change (New York City had the first flash flood emergency in it's history) . Maybe some of these images in heavily populated areas will wake some people up. 

Professor Principal
4  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

Analysis: Ida turns New York City into a front line of climate change-supercharged weather

Analysis: Ida turns New York City into a front line of climate change-supercharged weather - CNN

(CNN) After   Hurricane Ida battered the southern US states , its remnants lashed the northeast on Wednesday night, transforming New York City into a danger zone Thursday morning. Ida dumped heavy amounts of rain on Central Park and the subway was inundated with fast-moving floods, knocking nearly the whole system out of operation.

These are the kinds of scenes that scientists say the world will see more of   because of human-caused climate change .

Officials in New York appeared totally caught off guard by the floods. Meteorologists -- who knew storms and floods were on their way, even roughly how much rain would fall -- were surprised at the storm's pace.

"It's dangerous. We're seeing a kind of rainfall -- we almost never see this kind of speed with which the rain has come," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said, urgently calling on everyone to stay at home.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said she could not guarantee responders could rescue people that may be stuck in their cars "if it starts floating away like a boat on a river."

Eight people have already died in New York and New Jersey, which are both under a state of emergency.

"What is so surprising is the time span of the rainfall and the area impacted," said CNN Weather's Michael Guy.

"It is such a large area across the northeast, and it only happened within a span of a few hours. That's nothing that we have seen, especially in this region of the country."

Like with several weather events over the summer across the Northern Hemisphere, Ida has smashed records in some areas by a huge margin.

Wednesday was the rainiest day on record for Newark, New Jersey, by a large margin, with 8.41 inches of rain recorded. That's nearly 25% above the previous record, set in 1977.

In New York City, more rain fell in a single hour (3.15 inches) than at any point in the city's weather records, which go back to the 1800s. New York's Central Park recorded 7.13 inches of rain, nearly doubling the previous record set in 1927 for the same date, the National Weather Service New York reported.

New York City's flash flood emergency status is the first issued in its history.

What's the role of climate change?

Globally, extreme rainfall events -- including those in Germany and China in recent months -- are becoming more common because of human-caused global warming, scientists say.

A recent UN climate report said that "the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events have increased since the 1950s over most land area."

Across continental US, specifically, the heaviest downpours have been observed to be increasing in all regions, with the northeast showing the largest increase, according to the   US National Climate Assessment .

"Warmer air can contain more water vapor than cooler air. Global analyses show that the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere has in fact increased over both land and oceans," the report says.

In terms of hurricanes, climate change is making them more dangerous. They are producing more rainfall, moving slower once they make landfall and generating larger storm surges along the coast. Hurricane Ida was a prime example of those changes, and scientists say storms like this will become more common as the planet warms.

Scientists are now able to analyze exactly how much of a role climate change is likely to have played in a particular weather event. It's too early to make such an estimate for Ida, but trends in hurricanes of this force suggest a link.


"What we can say, without doing a dedicated attribution study, is that major hurricane occurrences (categories 3-5) have increased in recent decades, which cannot be explained by natural variability alone," Friederike Otto, who co-leads the World Weather Attribution initiative, told CNN in an email.

"Specifically, from event attribution, we do note that when hurricanes occur, the rainfall associated with them is more intense because of human-induced climate change, and Ida will not be an exception."

While there is less certainty about the impacts of climate change on wind speed and some other factors, there is high confidence that the translation speed -- how fast the whole system moves -- of hurricanes has slowed, Otto said.

"This is important as it means the cyclones hang around for longer and thus can also cause more damage."

Professor Principal
5  Kavika     2 weeks ago

Hope everyone is alright.

Professor Guide
6  1stwarrior    2 weeks ago

Please keep you and the family safe Perrie.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
6.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  1stwarrior @6    2 weeks ago

Thanks 1st!

Professor Principal
7  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

This kind of flooding has been happening in places in the midwest for years , but because it is often in rural or small town areas no one cared.  Now that it has hit NYC and the northeast maybe it will attract more attention this time. 

Greg Jones
PhD Expert
7.1  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @7    2 weeks ago

A storm like Ida hit the same area 83 years ago. Strong storms and hurricanes have occurred in the US for decades, and there is no scientific evidence that they are more frequent or intense now

From the article: " Scientists are now able to analyze exactly how much of a role climate change is likely to have played in a particular weather event. It's too early to make such an estimate for Ida, but trends in hurricanes of this force suggest a link." But no link has been shown.

Too much unscientific conjecture continues by uninformed and ignorant people.

Professor Principal
7.1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Greg Jones @7.1    2 weeks ago

Find the last time a hurricane hit Louisiana and then traveled half the width and the full height of the country and hit another region with this effect. 

Freshman Silent
7.1.2  bccrane  replied to  JohnRussell @7.1.1    2 weeks ago

1986, Michigan, September, one hurricane and one TD went across us within a few days, heavy rains and flooding and lost entire dry bean crop.

Freshman Silent
7.2  bccrane  replied to  JohnRussell @7    2 weeks ago
This kind of flooding has been happening in places in the midwest for years , but because it is often in rural or small town areas no one cared. 

This hurricane would've ended up coming across us in Michigan if it weren't for the high pressure system that settled over us  and steered it eastward and causing the moisture to be squeezed out over the northeast as Ida bumped up against it.  If Ida came through here it would've been more widespread between here and the east coast so less localized flooding.  I don't believe 'climate change' had anything to do with this event, just weather pattern timing.

Freshman Principal
8  Hallux    2 weeks ago


Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
9  Trout Giggles    2 weeks ago

A friend of mine from high school posted a video of the Little Conemaugh in Johnstown. It was high and it was swift.

Hope every one is ok wherever you are

Senior Principal
10  Nerm_L    2 weeks ago

I know the old saying is 'a little rain must fall'.  But really.

Reporting suggests the region is handling the situation fairly well.  Seems like lessons learned from Sandy have been taken to heart.  There's just not much that can be done while the storm is raging except hang on.  So, hang on tight folks.

Greg Jones
PhD Expert
11  Greg Jones    2 weeks ago

Even Colorado has lots of rain...sometimes.

The state of Colorado had been experiencing varying levels of drought prior to the week of storms starting on September 9. The U.S. Drought Monitor stated that "The combination of ample Gulf and Pacific tropical moisture (in part from Tropical Storms Manuel (Pacific) and Ingrid (Gulf) which inundated Mexico), stalled frontal systems, and upsloping conditions produced the widespread rainfall [along Colorado's Front Range]." [13] This resulted in rainfall totals exceeding 20 inches in parts of Boulder County, along with numerous flash floods, property destruction and loss of life.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
12  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    2 weeks ago

So this is my contribution to this article. My son-in-law sent me these two shots.

The first one is the building next to theirs. The retaining wall of the parking lot got washed away with a car 


and this is their exit on Cross Bronx Expressway today:


Professor Principal
12.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @12    2 weeks ago

wow. very dramatic pictures

Freshman Silent
12.2  Gulliver-Swift  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @12    2 weeks ago

I know someone who lives on that block in Inwood too.

What a small world the Internet can be at times.

Also, what's not obvious in that picture with the overturned car is that city block is on fairly high ground in Manhattan.

Professor Guide
13  1stwarrior    2 weeks ago


Sophomore Participates
14  Freewill    2 weeks ago

Saw some video of the flooding in NJ on the news tonight Perrie.  I hope you and your family are safe!

Freshman Quiet
15  squiggy    2 weeks ago

I'm sure these are two quadriplegic diabetic cancer survivors but shots of deep-ankle rescues get old fast.



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