Flooding killed at least nine people, swept away cars, submerged subway lines and temporarily grounded flights in New York and New Jersey as the remnants of Hurricane Ida brought torrential rain to the area.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio described the flooding and weather on Wednesday night as a “historic weather event,” and the National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency in New York City for the first time.
Recovery efforts were underway early on Thursday to bring back transportation systems serving millions of residents in the densely populated metropolitan area.
The Governors of New York and New Jersey, who had declared emergencies in their States on Wednesday, urged residents to stay home as crews worked to clear roadways and restore service to New York City subways and commuter rail lines.
“It is not safe to drive,” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said on Twitter.
Ida’s remnants brought six to eight inches of rain to a swath of the Northeast from Philadelphia to Connecticut and set an hourly record of 3.15 inches for Manhattan, breaking the previous one that was set less than two weeks ago, the National Weather Service said.
The 7.13 inches of rain that fell in New York City on Wednesday was the city’s fifth highest daily amount, it said.
“Right now my street looks more like a lake,” said Lucinda Mercer (64), as she peered out her apartment window in Hoboken, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from New York.