New York, 2 September 2021 (dpa/MIA) – Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared a state of emergency in New York City after record rainfall.
“We’re enduring an historic weather event tonight with record breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads,” de Blasio tweeted late Wednesday.
“Please stay off the streets tonight and let our first responders and emergency services get their work done.
“If you’re thinking of going outside, don’t. Stay off the subways. Stay off the roads. Don’t drive into these heavy waters,” de Blasio cautioned.
Fuelled by the remnants of tropical storm Ida, a record of around 80 millimetres of rain fell in Central Park in Manhattan late Wednesday evening, according to the National Weather Service.
Streets and apartments were under up to a metre of water in places and subway traffic came to a complete standstill.
There was no immediate word on potential injuries or fatalities. Some 5,300 homes were without electricity.
At the US Open tennis championships, it rained so heavily that play at Louis Armstrong Stadium, which has a retractable roof, had to be suspended indefinitely.
In neighbouring New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency in response to Ida.
“We will use every resource at our disposal to ensure the safety of New Jerseyans,” Murphy tweeted late Wednesday. “Stay off the roads, stay home, and stay safe.”
Ida pulverized the previous record that tropical storm Henri had only set a week ago with 49 millimetres of rain in 60 minutes.
Overall, the summer of 2021 has not only been very hot and sunny in New York City, but also the rainiest in its history.