New York floods LIVE Updates
Multiple New York City subway lines were shut and streets inundated Friday morning after torrential rain pelted the metropolitan area, prompting warnings about flooding in the city. The flash flooding was snarled traffic on roads and at airports. Officials on Friday urged residents in basement apartments to seek higher ground.
“Heavy rain is expected throughout downstate today, and we're paying close attention to any flash flooding impacts given the amount of rain in the forecast,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement.
In September 2021, more than 40 people died across New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut when the region saw flash floods in areas because of the remnants of Hurricane Ida.
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What you need to know about the storm
A flood watch covered New York City and the region until 6 a.m. Saturday, but was later canceled for all but New Haven County, Conn., and Suffolk County on Long Island.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency for New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley. Mayor Eric Adams issued a separate state of emergency for New York City.
NY governor warns area could get 10 inches
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said that the New York City area could get 10 inches of rain in all, and warned residents to take it seriously.
“This is Hurricane Ida-level waters,” Hochul said, referring to the storm that struck New York City in 2021 that caused flooding all over the city, killing some in their basement apartments.
No deaths or serious injuries have been reported in the storm that struck New York today, but there have been rescues at basement apartments and from stalled vehicles.
LaGuardia's Terminal A reopens after flooding
LaGuardia Airport's Terminal A reopened tonight after being closed earlier due to flooding, the airport said.
“All access to Terminal A is currently opened. All operations have resumed normal,” the airport said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The terminal had been closed earlier today due to floods from heavy rains that struck New York City and the region. LaGuardia got 4.87 inches of rain as of 5 p.m.
Emergency declared in New York City as torrential rain floods subways, roads, basements
Roads were closed, subway services were disrupted and basements were overwhelmed in the New York City area after “dangerous and life-threatening” torrential rain surged across the concrete expanse on Friday, CNN reported.
A month's worth of rain – more than 4 inches – fell over parts of Brooklyn in just three hours. Intense rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour were falling across the region, and the National Weather Service warned totals exceeding 8 inches “are increasingly likely” in parts of the tri-state area.
The heaviest rainfall began to ease across hard-hit portions of Manhattan and Brooklyn late Friday morning, but another round is expected in the afternoon and could reinvigorate dangerous flooding.
Flood watches canceled for all but New Haven and Suffolk County
[10:11pm Update]: The Flood Watch has been cancelled for all locations except New Haven County Connecticut and Suffolk County New York. While additional rain is possible tonight, it should mainly be on the lighter side with highest chance of heavy rain remaining in the watch.
Flood watches that had been in place for the New York City and the tri-state area until tomorrow were canceled for all but part of Connecticut and Long Island late tonight, the weather service said.
NYC gets one of its wettest days in decades
Rain walloped the New York metropolitan area with a startling punch Friday, knocking out several subway and commuter rail lines, stranding drivers on highways, flooding basements and shuttering a terminal at LaGuardia Airport for hours in one of the city's wettest days in decades, reports AP.
More than 7.25 inches (18.41 centimeters) of rain had fallen in parts of Brooklyn by nightfall, with at least one spot seeing 2.5 inches (6 centimeters) in a single hour, according to weather and city officials. The 8.65 inches (21.97 centimeters) at John F. Kennedy Airport surpassed its record for any September day, a bar set during Hurricane Donna in 1960, the National Weather Service said.
And more downpours were expected.
NYC streets flooded, subways snarled by downpour
Multiple New York City subway lines were shut and streets inundated Friday morning after torrential rain pelted the metropolitan area, prompting warnings about flooding in the city as well as Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey, reported Bloomberg.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said there was no 2, 3, 4, 5 subway service in Brooklyn. B and W trains were also suspended, and other lines were seeing delays, the agency said in a series of alerts.
Lhonak Lake Early Warning System Delayed by Year
An alarm could have gone out for the glacial lake burst in the Himalayas if an early warning system were installed in the Lhonak Lake last year, but work on the project was delayed and only began in September — too late for the Sikkim flash floods that killed dozens.
According to a report published by news agency Reuters, scientists were working on an early warning system at the glacial lake, which if fully operational could have given people more time to evacuate when the lake overflowed and triggered flash floods in the Teesta river.
Officials said the advanced warning system (AWS) was installed almost a month ago and failed to send out an alert before the lake burst. “Two AWS were installed at Lhonak Lake and Shako Cho Lake between September 9 and September 19 this year. Unfortunately, the system didn't send any early warning. Most probably it wasn't working when the incident took place,” VB Pathak, chief secretary of Sikkim, told Hindustan Times.
An expedition to the site last year could not be planned and, so, the project began just weeks before the floods killed at least 37 people with 78 missing. The report in Hindustan Times said two expedition teams, including Swiss scientists, and comprising 14 persons each were sent to the lakes in September to install the AWS. It was a joint operation conceived by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) with Sikkim state disaster management authority and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
“It was a pilot-project, which was supposed to generate data on the lakes based on which an early warning system (EWS) was to be developed. The data was to be monitored by the Swiss agency. Even though the one installed in Shako Cho was sending data, the one in Lhonak didn't generate any data,” another senior official told HT.
Krishna S Vatsa, NDMA member, said there was a delay as it was a complex expedition for several reasons including the fact that the lake, high in the mountains on India's border with China, is accessible only from July to September.
“It was a large inter-agency expedition, which could not be organised last year and had to be done this year because you have to carry a lot of equipment… and there is a limited window to go to the site,” Vatsa told Reuters.
“It's a sensitive border area so we had to get all clearances,” he said. “…We also had limited time to get there, and we had to get all agencies to agree on one particular date for this expedition.”
The Sikkim government has sought the help of ISRO now that the Swiss system has failed to generate any kind of alert. “I have written to the chairman of ISRO and director of North Eastern Space Application Centre in Shillong to keep a watch on Lhonak, Shako Cho and other glacial lakes in Sikkim. I have requested them to analyse satellite images and data and let us know if any immediate steps need to be taken. We are receiving regular updates from them,” Mathur was quoted as saying.
A robust response and evacuation model developed by the Sikkim government for such extreme events, however, helped in the evacuation process. Senior officials said residents of Chungthang and other north Sikkim towns and villages, which are vulnerable to flooding events, underwent mock drills at least once a year under special response and evacuation models.
In recent years, glacial flood early warning systems have been deployed in China, Nepal, Pakistan and Bhutan as climate change has raised the risks of flooding. Many communities face dangerous glacial floods as lakes holding water from melted glaciers can overfill and burst their surrounding walls, sending torrents rushing down mountain valleys. More than 200 such lakes now pose a very high hazard to Himalayan communities in India, Pakistan, China, Nepal and Bhutan, as per a 2022 research.
The toll in the flash flood has increased to 37, while 78 people are still missing six days on, as per state disaster management authorities. Pakyong district accounted for the maximum number of deaths at 24, including 10 army personnel, followed by seven in Gangtok, four in Mangan and two in Namchi districts. Another 78 people are still missing.
A total of 6,001 people have been either rescued or evacuated from flood-affected areas while the number of injured stood at 30. The number of people affected by the flash floods stood at 87,300. A total of 3,773 people were rendered homeless and provided shelter in 24 relief camps.
(With agency inputs)
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Videos Show Subways
Dangerous flash flooding engulfed parts of New York City on Friday, as relentless rainfall continued throughout the night, prompting officials to declare a state of emergency amid fears of potential fatalities. The torrential downpour set a record for rainfall in the city, overwhelming the sewer system and sending floodwaters surging through streets, basements, schools, subways, and vehicles in the nation's most populous metropolis. Startling videos depicted the rapid and aggressive rise of water, catching some commuters off guard during Friday morning's rush hour.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued flash flood warnings for approximately 8.5 million people in the New York City area. The city's concrete and pavement exacerbated the flooding, as overwhelmed sewers struggled to drain the rainwater effectively during the sustained and heavy downpours. In Brooklyn, several subway lines had to be closed due to the flooding.
Videos from various locations in New York showcased partially submerged cars and gridlocked traffic, with major roads submerged under water, causing alarm on social media and highlighting the severe conditions in the city.
Also Read: Viral Video: Two Boys Cross Flooded Road To Rescue Dog, Internet Is Happy
Here are some of the videos illustrating the havoc caused by flash floods in New York City:
“That is not a statistic to take lightly,” emphasised Zachary Iscol, the city's emergency management commissioner, regarding it being the wettest day in two years. “It highlights just how crucial it is for all of us to pay close attention to the weather advisories and to always take the necessary precautions,” he added.
City authorities issued warnings for residents to exercise extreme caution and seek shelter. On the FDR highway along Manhattan's east side, some drivers abandoned their vehicles in the floodwaters.
On Friday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency due to the “extreme rainfall.” This declaration encompassed New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley, as communicated on X, formerly known as Twitter.
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Meanwhile, heavy rain and flooding were anticipated to persist into Saturday morning, with a flood watch in effect for the entire tri-state area. Rainfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour were expected, with some regions bracing for 5-8 inches before the storm abated. Given the already saturated soil from previous rain, serious flooding and flash flooding conditions were highly likely.
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