Late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, the remnants of Hurricane Ida arrived in New York City, bringing torrential rains and massive flooding. The storm took the lives of multiple people in Queens and Brooklyn, and caused massive delays and suspensions throughout the city’s transit system.
Right before midnight, New York’s new Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency throughout the state. “Stay off the roads and avoid all unnecessary travel,” she urged with a tweet.
Mayor Bill de Blasio quickly followed suit, declaring a state of emergency within the City. “We’re enduring an historic weather event tonight with record breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads,” the Mayor tweeted.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency Wednesday night, marking only the second time that the organization has issued such a warning in the City.
Even with these precautions, the storm claimed the lives of at least nine people in the City, a number that could continue to grow in the coming days.
At around 10 p.m. police responded to a 911 call for flooding at the corner building of 64th Street and Laurel Hill Boulevard in Woodside. When officers arrived at the scene, they found a 50-year-old man, 48-year-old woman and a 2-year-old boy all unconscious in a basement apartment. The three were all pronounced dead at the scene.
In Forest Hills, officers responded to a 911 call and found a 48-year-old woman unconscious in her apartment complex. She was rushed to a hospital where she later died.
Closer to midnight, officers responded to reports of a flooded basement apartment on 183rd Street near 90th Avenue, in Jamaica, Queens. The cops found a 43-year-old woman and 22-year-old man unresponsive at the scene. The man was declared dead and the woman passed away later at a hospital.
Flooding on 84th Street in Jackson Heights claimed the life of an elderly 86-year-old woman.
In Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, a 66-year-old man was found unconscious in a basement apartment at the corner of Ridgewood and Autumn avenues. He was later pronounced dead.
Cell phone footage from throughout the outer boroughs shows the devastating impact that flooding had on the City’s mass transit system.
Twitter user Joe English filmed his trip on the bus along Queens Boulevard in Maspeth and Corona, showing water splashing out in the street and inside the interior of the bus.
“Queens Boulevard […] is a literal river,” English wrote in a post. “Hero bus driver managed to get us safely through the 3-4 feet of rain coursing down the boulevard, but only seemed to be getting worse. Finally made it through to higher ground and a fellow passenger exclaims ‘oh no I missed my stop.’”
Video on the popular Instagram account ‘Subway Creatures’ showed entire stations partially submerged in water, including the 45th Street station of the R Line along 4th Avenue in Sunset Park and the Dekalb Avenue stop in Downtown Brooklyn.
The flooding caused widespread suspensions and delays throughout the subway system. On Wednesday morning, service was entirely suspended along the 3, C, E, Z, and W lines. All other trains were listed as either partially suspended or delayed.
Pouring rain also pounded through gaps in the roof of Louis Armstrong Stadium in Flushing, disrupting the second-round of play in the U.S. Open. Heavy winds blew concession stands throughout the venue as fans attempted to return to their cars and safely leave.