Ida may be gone, but residual flood risks remain, forecasters warn

The National Weather Service recorded 3.15 inches of rain in New York's Central Park in one hour, believed to be a new record

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Thursday, September 2, 2021
7 killed in historic NYC flooding
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Derick Waller reports on the deaths of at least 7 people in the flooding in New York City.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The remnants of Hurricane Ida brought drenching rains and sparked historic flooding across New York City and the Tri-State area, leaving at least 12 people dead in New York City and eight dead in New Jersey.

Even though the rain is gone and skies are clear, the National Weather Service is warning of residual flooding into Friday because of swollen rivers and saturated ground, urging motorists to "turn around, don't drown" if they spot flooding ahead.

Areal and River Flood Warnings continue for northeastern New Jersey, the Bronx, the lower Hudson Valley and southwestern Connecticut for numerous rivers and streams that could still present moderate to major flooding, with a few near-record levels, the National Weather Service said.

A River Flood Warning is in effect for the Yantic River in Connecticut, which could go to major flood levels on Thursday.

The heavy rain in a short period of time sparked widespread flash flooding, stranding drivers, flooding subways, and grounding planes. Water poured into homes, flooding apartments and killing residents in New York City. A driver was killed in Passaic, New Jersey when floodwaters trapped them in a car.

Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency in New York City due to the historic weather event bringing brutal flooding and dangerous conditions to the roads.

Anthony Johnson reports on the deadly flooding in Passaic, New Jersey.

Governor Kathy Hochul also issued a state of emergency in New York, while Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency in all of New Jersey's 21 counties. Both urged people to stay off the flooded roads.

Murphy said the state will use every resource at its disposal to ensure the safety of New Jerseyans.

The mayor of Passaic said one person drowned inside their vehicle due to flooding on Passaic Avenue and Lakawanna Place. The rest of the people in the car were rescued and treated on the scene.

Paterson Public Schools and several other districts announced they will be closed or opening late Thursday due to severe storms and flooding.


All NJ Transit rail service on the Northeast Corridor, with the exception of the Atlantic City Rail Line, was suspended due to weather-related issues.

Meanwhile in NYC, the MTA suspended subway service because of heavy rainfall and flooding.

LIRR service was also suspended in both directions between Penn & Jamaica, Atlantic Terminal & Jamaica, and on the Port Washington Branch.

On Metro-North, Hudson, Harlem and New Haven Line service out of Grand Central Terminal was suspended.

Remnants of Ida brought major mass transit disruptions to New York City and the Tri-State area.


The flooding happened so fast that several people had to be rescued after driving into flooded roads.

Josh Einiger reports rescue efforts are underway after floodwaters trap people in cars in the Soundview section of the Bronx.

At least a dozen vehicles were under water on Bronx River Parkway.

Josh Einiger reports floodwaters in the Soundview section of the Bronx trapped people in their cars.

Several entrances to FDR Drive were also closed to do extensive flooding.

Cars at a Costco on Staten Island could be seen nearly completely underwater.


Air Traffic Control at Newark Airport had to be temporarily evacuated due to flooding. All flights were suspended at one point and all parking lots were closed due to severe flooding. All train service to the airport also was suspended.

Video captured massive flooding at Newark Airport.


Rain made its way on to the indoor court at the tennis center during the U.S. Open. The roof was closed but the wind-swept rain still made it inside.

As fans left the tennis center, they had to make their way through knee-deep floodwaters.

And at Yankee Stadium, the outfield was pictured completely under water. Fortunately the Yankees were playing in California during the severe weather.

Ryan Field has more on how the sporting world was affected by the devastation brought by Ida.


The National Weather Service Office serving New York City said Wednesday evening this was the first time this office has ever had to issue a Flash Flood Emergency, on a night in which Manhattan's Central Park saw the most amount of rain ever to fall in a single hour.

The first Flash Flood Emergency ever issued by the New York office came Wednesday evening for Northeast New Jersey, which was followed by the second one ever put out by the New York City office, covering New York City itself.

Central Park observed 3.15 inches of rain in one hour, from 8:51 pm to 9:51 pm. That would make it the wettest hour in New York City record-keeping, dating back to 1870. It smashed a record set just last month, on the night of Aug. 22, when between 10 and 11 p.m., Central Park saw 1.94 inches.

RELATED | Monster tornado hammers South Jersey, destroys homes

Remnants of Ida walloped the New York City Tri-State area Wednesday, triggering flash flooding and multiple tornado warnings that could continue into Thursday.


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