Cars were stuck on a street flooded by heavy rain in Queens.
More than 20 people have been killed in New York and the wider US north-east as the remnants of Hurricane Ida brought unexpected levels of heavy rain and flooding.
The deaths and damage spanned huge areas in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Maryland. Officials blamed many of the fatalities on basement apartments becoming filled with water.
Rivers and creeks swelled to record levels, roadways flooded and transportation systems were badly impacted.
The ferocious storm, downgraded from the hurricane that hit Louisiana in the south of the US earlier in the week, also spawned tornadoes, including one that ripped apart homes and toppled silos in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, south of Philadelphia.
Floodwater surrounds vehicles on the BQE in Brooklyn following the heavy rain.
Videos shared on social media showed subway platforms in Manhattan and Brooklyn submerged with flood water and cars in the city struggling to pass flooded streets.
At least 22 people have been killed, according to the Associated Press. Reports included:
- Nine people died in New York City, eight of them when they became trapped in flooded basements, and one who drowned in a car, according to police.
- At least eight people have been killed in New Jersey, officials said. They included four people who were found dead in an apartment complex in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the city’s mayor and spokesperson told local media. In Passaic, New Jersey, a 70-year-old man was swept away after his family was rescued from their car, and reported to have drowned.
- Three people were killed in Pennsylvania’s suburban Montgomery county; one was killed by a falling tree, one drowned in a car and another in a home.
- Outside Philadelphia, officials reported “multiple fatalities”, saying no additional details were immediately available.
- A 19-year-old man was killed in flooding at an apartment complex in Rockville, Maryland, police said.
Rescuers were searching for more stranded people and braced for potentially finding more bodies. In Connecticut, an on-duty state trooper and his cruiser were swept away in flood waters on Thursday morning in Woodbury, and the trooper was taken to a hospital, state police and local authorities said.
The deaths in New York city included a 50-year-old man, a 48-year-old woman and a two-year-old boy who were found unconscious and unresponsive late Wednesday inside a home.
“We’re enduring an historic weather event tonight with record breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads,” said the mayor, Bill de Blasio, while declaring a state of emergency in New York City late Wednesday.
The mayor’s warning came as the National Weather Service (NWS) office in New York issued its first set of flash flood emergencies in the region on Wednesday night, alerts only sent in the most dangerous conditions.