New York declares state of emergency after Ida triggers flooding

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has declared a state of emergency as the remnants of storm Ida caused enormous flooding in New York City and across the northeastern United States.

“I am declaring a state of emergency to help New Yorkers affected by tonight’s storm,” Hochul tweeted on Thursday, after Ida, which slammed into the southern United States as a Category 4 hurricane on Sunday, caused tornadoes and flooding as it steamed north.

Nearly all New York City subway lines were suspended late on Wednesday as at least five flash-flood emergencies were issued by the National Weather Service, stretching from just west of Philadelphia through northern New Jersey.

Earlier in the night, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy also declared a state of emergency in response to Ida.

Storm damage from Ida astounded officials on Wednesday three days after the powerful hurricane pounded southern Louisiana, as reconnaissance flights revealed entire communities devastated by winds and floods.

Homes destroyed

Tornadoes spawned by the storm ripped through parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, images on social media showed. At least nine homes were destroyed in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, Philadelphia’s NBC10 television station reported.

New Jersey’s Newark Liberty Airport said on Twitter it was experiencing “severe flooding”. It said it resumed “limited flight operations” close to midnight after all flight activity was suspended late on Wednesday.

New York City also experienced flooding, with social media images showing water gushing over subway platforms and trains.

Underground train service was “extremely limited” due to the flooding, the Metropolitan Transit Authority said.

The New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged people to not go outside.

“Please stay off the streets tonight and let our first responders and emergency services get their work done. If you’re thinking of going outside, don’t. Stay off the subways. Stay off the roads. Don’t drive into these heavy waters. Stay inside”, he said on Twitter.

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