Toddler among at least 22 dead in New York and New Jersey flooding
The weather has seen record-breaking rainfall and unprecedented flash flooding across both states.
At least 25 people, including a toddler, have been killed in severe flooding as a result of Hurricane Ida battering the North East of the US with record rain and tornadoes.
Scenes across New York and New Jersey show streets submerged and water pouring into subway stations as both were place under states of emergency on Thursday.
Four women, three men, a 2-year-old boy and one other person died in five separate flooding incidents in New York City, police said.
Thirteen other people died in New Jersey, including five residents at an apartment complex in Elizabeth and a body recovered by firefighters from a vehicle that had gotten caught in floods in Passaic.
Three fatalities were also reported in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, bringing the total number of fatalities in the North East to 25 as of publication.
In New York City, officials urged non-emergency vehicles to stay off the roads and for people to stay indoors as the hurricane brought unprecedented weather.
New York is flooding again pic.twitter.com/4zX1dfoFU4
— Dr. Lucky Tran (@luckytran) September 2, 2021
Central Park saw more than 3 inches of rain in one hour, which meteorologists say is the highest the area has ever recorded.
According to the US National Weather Service, the daily rainfall total there was 7.13 inches on Wednesday, breaking the previous record high from 1927.
New York City streets were inundated with water, bringing transit to a standstill. Subway services have been suspended or severely limited as water has flooded tracks and stations.
Flights at LaGuardia, JFK and Newark Liberty airports were also disrupted, and a rare tornado warning was issued for the Bronx and parts of Westchester (an area further upstate) on Wednesday night.
"We’re enduring an historic weather event tonight with record breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted.
Rainfall from tropical storm Ida gushing into the New York City subway pic.twitter.com/7wBH5qtM1U
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) September 2, 2021
The mayor also stated that even weather projections from "the very best experts" were "made a mockery of in a matter of minutes," warning New Yorkers that weather disasters will become "much worse" in the future.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency, allowing for state aid, and promised investment in city infrastructure after NYC was issued its first flash flood emergency warning on Wednesday night.
In his address to the nation today, President Joe Biden said that the government will work "around the clock" to aid those in impacted areas.
He added that he will push for congressional action on his Build Back Better plan, which includes significant funding for infrastructure.