Torrential rainfall, heavy flooding and furious winds, including tornadoes, hit the east coast from New York to Maryland on Wednesday night, resulting in at least 17 deaths and forcing New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to declare a state of emergency in the city as the remnants of Hurricane Ida tore through the area.
In New York City, nine people are known to have died in the storm, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference late Thursday morning.
Flooding killed six people in New Jersey, NBC News reported.
A man in Maryland man died when his building was flooded, NPR News reported, and a woman in Pennsylvania, where tornadoes were recorded, was killed when a tree fell onto a home.
The New York Police Department did not name any of the city’s victims but said they were found in four different scenes and were aged between 2 and 66-years-old, the New York Times reported.
“President Biden called [and] offered any assistance that the state of New York needs,” including approving emergency declarations to free up money for recovery, said Kathy Hochul, the state’s new governor, at the press conference Thursday morning. “I told him we’ll take him up on that,” she said.
3.15 inches. That’s the amount of rain that was recorded between 8:51 pm and 9:51 pm in New York’s Central Park, the highest ever recorded in the area over a single hour. According to NBC News, this is the total amount of rainfall that Chicago usually records in a month.
The severe weather conditions also managed to delay a U.S. Open tennis match inside the roofed Louis Armstrong Stadium as strong wind gusts blew the rain sideways into the stadium.
The severe weather conditions have left close to 240,000 homes in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut without power early on Thursday, according to PowerOutage.us. Earlier this week, devastation from Ida had left over a million households in Louisiana without power, and as of 3 a.m. E.T. on Thursday more than 930,000 homes in the southern state are still under a blackout.
Despite Ida growing weaker as it moved inland from the Gulf Coast—where it had hit Louisiana as a Category 4 storm on Sunday—the tropical storm brought torrential rainfall to states further north, prompting flood warnings. The National Weather Service (NWS) declared a flash flood emergency until late Wednesday night for more than 9 million people in the New York City area. De Blasio, Hochul and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared states of emergency Wednesday night, urging residents to stay inside and avoid travel, while New Jersey’s main airport, in Newark, halted all flights due to “severe flooding.”
Ida’s wind-driven remnants pummel the New York City region (New York Times)