New York, Sep 2 (IANS) New York state Governor Kathy Hochul declared her first state of emergency on Thursday as remnants of Hurricane Ida brought torrential rain and heavy flooding.
“I am declaring a state of emergency to help New Yorkers affected by tonight’s storm. Please stay off the roads and avoid all unnecessary travel,” Hochul tweeted.
The heavy rain was “far more than anyone really expected,” and left the region in “a very dire situation”, the governor was quoted by CNN as saying.
Urging people to stay off the roads, the National Weather Service (NWS) in New York said: “We are seeing way too many reports of water rescues and stranded motorists”, reports Xinhua news agency
Hochul’s declaration came about an hour after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency in his city.
“We’re enduring a historic weather event tonight with record-breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads,” the Mayor said on Wednesday night.
The NWS issued its first-ever flash flood emergency alert for New York City, warning more than 9 million residents of imminent danger.
The agency has also issued a tornado warning for west central Suffolk County on Long Island and over 10 flash warnings covering Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and other states.
A tornado was also reported in New Jersey with houses levelled, and the state announced a state of emergency on Wednesday night.
Ida landed in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane on Sunday and has weakened to a tropical storm.