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Remnants of Hurricane “Ida” bring record rains, historic flooding and destructive tornadoes to U.S. Northeast, leaving at least 71 people dead


Remnants of Hurricane "Ida" — which made landfall in Louisiana on August 29 with maximum sustained winds of 240 km/h (150 mph)1 — inundated parts of the U.S. Northeast and spawned large and extremely dangerous tornadoes on September 1 and 2, 2021.

Numerous roads and homes were flooded across the region forcing authorities to launch rescue operations in New York, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, western New Jersey, and Maryland.2

"I’m declaring a state of emergency in New York City tonight. 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 City Mayor said.3

"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."

"I have never seen this much rainfall this quickly. It is absolutely astounding … We are talking 3 inches, 4 inches [75 – 100 mm] in an hour. Unbelievable accumulation," DeBlasio told WCBS.4

"We are seeing way too many reports of water rescues and stranded motorists. Do not drive through flooded roadways. You do not know how deep the water is and it is too dangerous," the National Weather Service (NWS) in New York said.

The office issued multiple Flash Flood Warnings and rare Flash Flood Emergencies for New York, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Newark, Jersey City, Bridgeport, New Haven, and Stamford.

"For clarity on the difference between a regular Flash Flood Warning and the Flash Flood Emergencies we've issued earlier tonight… This was an exceedingly rare event with 150 – 250 mm (6 – 10 inches) of rainfall falling over a several-hour period. Take these warnings (and emergencies) seriously!!"

"To be clear… this particular warning for NYC is the second time we’ve ever issued a Flash Flood Emergency (It’s the first one for NYC). The first time we’ve issued a Flash Flood Emergency was for Northeast New Jersey an hour ago," the office said at 01:43 UTC on September 2.

The NWS recorded 80 mm (3.15 inches) of rain in Central Park in one hour, surpassing the 49.2 mm (1.94 inches) that fell in one hour during Tropical Storm "Henri" on August 22, which was believed at the time to be the most ever recorded in the park.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy also declared a state of emergency, urging residents to stay off the roads.

The mayor of Harrison Township, New Jersey, spoke to The Weather Channel1 late Wednesday night about the tornado damage in Mullica Hill, Gloucester County where some homes were left in splintered ruin.

"We have several residents who have been in the path directly and therefore had their owns home leveled and others in close proximity with hardly any damage at all," Mayor Lou Manzo said. "There were a few that needed to be rescued for lack of a better term from their home because they had sheltered in the basements and the entire foundation of their house had shifted or had come down. We are only by the grace of god lucky enough to this point that there was only one injury that required going to the hospital."

At least 100 homes were severely damaged after a tornado hit Edgewater, Maryland. The tornado moved through the Annapolis area, ripping off roofs, knocking down trees, and taking down power lines.

The police said parts of West Street and Forest Street will be closed for an extended period of time, and urged residents to avoid travel.

Near Pittsburgh, the Cherry City Volunteer Fire Company rescued 41 passengers from a school bus that got stuck on a flooded road Wednesday morning.5

NWS Storm Prediction Center (SPC) received 5 tornado reports on September 1.

More than 109 000 customers in Pennsylvania were without power Thursday morning, more than 87 000 in New Jersey, 49 000 in New York, and 33 000 in Connecticut.

Meanwhile, 914 000 customers are still without power in Louisiana, down from 1.1 million on Sunday.1

At least 7 people have been killed and one is missing, according to information received early Thursday morning, September 2.

New York City authorities reported 4 fatalities. Floods in the Jamaica neighborhood of New York City's Queens borough killed a 45-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man, while a 48-year-old woman and a 66-year-old man died in Brooklyn.6

One person died due to flooding in the Guesses Fork area of Hurley, Virginia. One died and another is missing in Rockville, Maryland, also due to floods, and another person died in New Jersey.

The death toll rose to 46 by early Friday morning, September 3. Most of the deaths took place in New Jersey (23) and New York City (15). At least 4 deaths have been reported in Pennsylvania.

The death toll rose to 71 by September 7.


1 Category 4 Hurricane "Ida" hits Louisiana on Katrina's 16th anniversary, leaves more than 1 million homes without power – The Watchers

2 Damaging Tornadoes, Flash Flooding from Ida's Remnants Rip Through Philly, New Jersey, New York – TWC

3 New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio – Twitter

4 New York declares a state of emergency as the Northeast is slammed by flooding from Ida's remnants – WCBX

5 Remnants of Hurricane Ida bring flooding and tornadoes to the northeast – FoxNews

6 Ida remnants bring death, destruction to Northeast, days after storm slammed Gulf Coast – FoxNews

Featured image credit: Cherry City Fire

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