The remnants of Hurricane Ida took lives, spurred water rescues, swamped roadways and set rainfall records as the system swept up East Coast late Wednesday into the overnight hours Thursday.
The deluge was being blamed for at least eight deaths, including that of a 70-year-old man Passaic, New Jersey Mayor Hector Lora said was swept away by floodwaters. Divers were searching for other possible victims. Lora ordered the evacuation of downtown Passaic early Thursday due to the rising level of the Passaic River.
The New York Police Department says the system was responsible for at least seven deaths.
New York’s Central Park got 3.15 inches of rain between 8:51 p.m. and 9:51 p.m., breaking a mark set in the early 1900s for the most ever for an hour in the city, according to CBS News weather producer David Parkinson.
The torrential downpours prompted the National Weather Service’s New York office to issue it first-ever Flash Flood Emergency for parts of the city – Manhattan, Brooklyn and the borough of Queens. That followed the first such emergency the office ever declared, for New Jersey.
The NWS also issued one for parts of Connecticut as the front end of the system moved into New England. The NWS pointed to six-to-ten inches “of rainfall falling over a several hour period.”
States of emergency were declared by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York Governor Kathy Hochul and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.
The Federal Aviation Administration ordered a ground-stop at the New York metropolitan area’s three major airports. New York City subways were shut down and Long Island Railroad service was suspended.
Several thousand power outages were reported in New York and New Jersey.
There were reports of tornadoes in Maryland and New Jersey and tornado warnings and watches for various areas.
New York City police tweeted that, “Officers throughout have been responding to 911 calls of people affected by the storm.”