Amid a massive flash flood in New York, Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency on Friday and appealed to the citizens "to never attempt to travel on flooded roads". "I am declaring a State of Emergency across New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley due to the extreme rainfall we’re seeing throughout the region. Please take steps to stay safe and remember to never attempt to travel on flooded roads," she wrote on 'X'.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), several regions are experiencing dangerous flash flooding as extreme rainfall continues across the city and about 8.5 million people are under flash flood warnings.
Elsewhere, photos and video posted on social media showed water pouring into subway stations and basements.
Dominic Ramunni, a meteorolgist at the National Weather Service in New York, said by phone that Friday’s rains were due to a coastal storm, with low pressure off the East Coast helping to bring in some deep moisture from the Atlantic Ocean.
“This will be one of the wettest days in quite some time,” he said.
Virtually every subway line was at least partly suspended, rerouted or running with delays, and two of the Metro-North Railroad’s three lines were suspended. Flights into LaGuardia were briefly halted Friday morning and then delayed, because of water in the airport’s refuelling area. Flooding also forced the closure of one of the airport’s three terminals.
Towns and cities around New York City also experienced flooding, including Hoboken, New Jersey. The deluge came less than three months after a storm caused deadly floods in New York’s Hudson Valley and left Vermont’s capital, Montpelier, submerged. A little over two years ago, the remnants of Hurricane Ida dropped record-breaking rain on the Northeast and killed at least 13 people in New York City, most of whom were in flooded basement apartments. Overall, 50 people died from Virginia to Connecticut.
New York City officials said they received reports of six basement apartments that had flooded, but all the occupants got out safely. Hochul pleaded with residents to evacuate their homes if the water started to rise.
(With inputs from agency)