UNITED STATES – The death toll continues to grow new York and its surroundings where torrential rains and historical and sudden floods struck during the night of Wednesday to Thursday, September 2.
In America’s economic and cultural megalopolis, police counted at least 13 dead, including several people probably trapped and drowned in their basements, rudimentary housing, and sometimes unsanitary, arranged at the foot of buildings in Manhattan, Queens or Brooklyn. Firefighters have rescued hundreds of residents.
Just north of Manhattan in upscale Westchester County, which was still muddy Thursday afternoon, one of its officials, George Latimer, told CNN that three people who tried to get out of their cars died probably drowned.
In the neighboring state of New Jersey, also affected by storm Ida, a total of 23 people lost their lives and four near the large city of Philadelphia, according to provisional reports from local authorities.
In total, the authorities in the region have so far identified at least 44 dead.
Central Park underwater
Streets, avenues, expressways were suddenly turned into torrents, both in the neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens and in Westchester County, north of the city. In this county, dozens of vehicles were still submerged in the early hours of the morning and houses with finished basements are devastated by brackish and muddy water, sometimes up to two feet.
The gigantic New York subway system came to a standstill Thursday morning, after many stations flooded. The NWS, the US weather service, recorded an all-time high of 80mm of rain in one hour in Central Park.
Alexi J. Rosenfeld via Getty Images
“I’m 50 years old and I’ve never seen so much rain,” said Metodija Mihajlov, restaurateur on the Upper West Side, near the famous park, New York’s green lung. “It was like in the jungle, a tropical rain. Incredible, ”added the trader.
“Global warming is upon us”
In the middle of the night, the new governor of the State of New York, Kathy Hochul, had declared a “state of emergency” following the “major” floods in all the border counties of the city, potentially affecting some 20 million. inhabitants. Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York, a city already ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic, lamented in a tweet a “historic meteorological event”, also declaring “a state of emergency”.
Thursday morning, while many New Yorkers were mopping up their cellars, several voices attributed this event to climate change, while New York had already suffered very heavy rains at the end of August, when Storm Henri passed.
“Global warming is upon us and it will get worse and worse if we do nothing,” warned New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer. Hundreds of flights have been canceled at New York’s Newark, LaGuardia and JFK airports. A video showed a flooded terminal in Newark.
According to the NWS, this state of emergency due to flash floods is a first in the history of the megalopolis, already hit in October 2012 by Hurricane Sandy. Impressive tornadoes and flooding were also seen in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. In New Jersey, a state of emergency has been declared by Governor Phil Murphy.
See also on The HuffPost: In Louisiana, Hurricane Ida leaves behind a landscape of desolation