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Historic Rains in NYC, New Jersey Leave Several Dead

Death toll is 8 so far as remnants of Ida roll through
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 2, 2021 2:47 AM CDT
Updated Sep 2, 2021 5:42 AM CDT
New York Issues 'Exceedingly Rare' Alert
In this image taken from video provided by Scott Smith, a fast-moving tornado is seen in the distance through a windshield just before the toll booth for the Burlington Bristol Bridge on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Burlington, N.J.   (Scott Smith via AP)

(Newser) – At least eight deaths were reported in New York City and New Jersey as relentless rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ida sent the New York City area into a state of emergency early Thursday and the storm carried into New England with threats of more tornadoes, per the AP. The National Weather Service recorded 3.15 inches of rain in New York’s Central Park in one hour Wednesday night, far surpassing the 1.94 inches that fell in one hour during Tropical Storm Henri on the night of Aug. 21, which was believed at the time to be the most ever recorded in the park.

  • Police in New York City reported seven deaths, including a 50-year-old man, a 48-year-old woman, and a 2-year-old boy who were found unresponsive inside a home. One death was reported in New Jersey. Passaic Mayor Hector Lora told news outlets that someone died in the city after being submerged in their car.
  • The National Weather Service office in New York declared its first-ever set of flash flood emergencies in the region Wednesday night, an alert level that is reserved for “exceedingly rare situations when a severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage from a flash flood is happening or will happen soon.”

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  • New York’s FDR Drive, a major artery on the east side of Manhattan, and the Bronx River Parkway were under water by late Wednesday evening. Subway stations and tracks became so flooded that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority suspended all service. Videos posted online showed subway riders standing on seats in cars filled with water. Other videos showed vehicles submerged up to their windows on major roadways in and around the city and garbage bobbing down the streets.

  • Earlier Wednesday, the storm blew through the mid-Atlantic states with at least two tornadoes, heavy winds, and drenching rains that collapsed the roof of a US Postal Service building in New Jersey and threatened to overrun a dam in Pennsylvania. Social media posts showed homes reduced to rubble in a southern New Jersey county just outside Philadelphia, not far from where the National Weather Service confirmed a tornado Wednesday evening.
  • Soaking rains prompted the evacuations of thousands of people after water reached dangerous levels at a dam near Johnstown, a Pennsylvania town nicknamed Flood City. An official said later Wednesday that the water levels near the dam were receding.
(Read more Hurricane Ida stories.)

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