NT News

41 die as Ida floods ravage New York

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NEW YORK: The Big Apple was beginning a massive clean-up – and search for bodies – on Friday after flash flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida killed at least 41 people, including several who perished in their basements during the “historic” weather event.

Record rainfall, which prompted an unpreceden­ted flash flood emergency warning for New York City, turned streets into rivers and shut subway services as water cascaded down platforms onto tracks.

“I’m 50 years old and I’ve never seen that much rain ever,” said Metodija Mihajlov whose basement of his Manhattan restaurant was flooded.

“It was like living in the jungle, like tropical rain.”

Hundreds of flights were cancelled at LaGuardia and JFK airports, as well as at Newark, where video showed a terminal inundated by rain.

“We’re all in this together. The nation is ready to help,” President Joe Biden said ahead of a trip to the southern state of Louisiana, where Ida earlier destroyed buildings and left more than a million homes without power.

Flooding closed major roads across New Jersey and New York boroughs including Manhattan, The Bronx and Queens, submerging cars and forcing the fire department to rescue hundreds of people.

At least 23 people died in New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy said, mostly after being caught in vehicles.

Twelve died in New York City, including 11 who could not escape their basements. The victims ranged from the ages of 2 to 86.

Three people died in the New York suburb of Westcheste­r, while another three died in Montgomery County outside Philadelph­ia in Pennsylvan­ia.

Ida blazed a trail of destructio­n north after slamming into Louisiana, bringing severe floods and tornadoes.

“We’re enduring a historic weather event tonight with record-breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and

dangerous conditions on our roads,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

State emergencie­s were declared in New York and New Jersey while the National Weather Service issued its first-ever emergency flash flood warning for New York City, urging residents to move to higher ground.

There was 80mm of rain in Central Park in just an hour – beating a record set just last month during Storm Henri.

The US Open was also halted as wind and rain blew under the corners of the Louis Armstrong Stadium roof.

New Yorkers woke to clear blue skies as the city edged back to life but signs of the previous night’s carnage

weren’t far away: residents moved fallen tree branches from roads as subway services slowly resumed.

About 98,000 homes in Pennsylvan­ia, 60,000 in New Jersey and 40,000 in New York were without power, according to the website poweroutag­e.us.

It is rare for such storms to strike America’s northeaste­rn seaboard and comes as the surface layer of oceans warm.

“Global warming is upon us and it’s going to get worse and worse and worse unless we do something about it,” said Democratic senator Chuck Schumer.

The NWS warned the threat of tornadoes would linger.

 ??  ?? A New York City parks security service officer on horseback explore the Greyshot Arch, which is flooded in Central Park. Picture: Getty/AFP
A New York City parks security service officer on horseback explore the Greyshot Arch, which is flooded in Central Park. Picture: Getty/AFP

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