The death toll following widespread flash flooding in New York and New Jersey has risen to at least 22, as the remnants of Hurricane Ida left both states under a state of emergency.
Record rainfall and strong winds brought severe floods and tornadoes to the area on Wednesday, September 1. Among those confirmed to have died was a two-year-old boy.
Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Deanne Criswell said they were assessing ‘widespread damage’ following the storm, which caused the entire New York City subway network to be suspended and saw some people forced to be rescued from their cars as they became submerged under rapidly rising floodwater.
It’s been reported that several of those killed in the flooding died after becoming trapped in basements, while several buildings were destroyed by a tornado in Mullica Hill, New Jersey.
According to NBC, 3 inches of rain fell in an hour in Central Park, NYC and Newark, NJ – the most ever recorded for either area. The National Weather Service said that between 6 and 10 inches of rain fell in the area over the course of several hours, as they issued the first-ever Flash Flood Emergency for New York City.
In New York City, all non-emergency vehicles were ordered to stay off the road after the city issued an overnight travel ban, with people urged not to travel even after the ban expired.
The deputy chief of police in Passaic, NJ, Louis Gentile, warned residents to stay off the streets, saying that emergency vehicles had also been trapped in floods.
‘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, adding ‘It’s very serious.’
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]