While parts of Louisiana are still under water after storm surge and torrential rain from Hurricane Ida, remnants of the storm have moved north, dumping heavy rainfall and causing flooding in parts of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Maryland.
Destructive floods hit parts of Southwest Virginia in the previous 24 hours.
National Weather Service (NWS) Eastern Region reported 48 hour rainfall totals of over 7 inches (177.8 mm) in several areas. Coatsville, Pennsylvania recorded 8.62 inches (218.95 mm) and Stockton in New Jersey 8.04 inches (204.22 mm). Most of this rain fell during a 12 to 24 hour period to late 01 September, NWS Eastern Region said.
New York City saw its rainfall record broken for the second time in a few weeks. The National Weather Service (NWS) recorded 3.15 inches (80 mm) of rain in New York’s Central Park in one hour, far surpassing the 1.94 inches (49.27 mm) that fell in one hour during Tropical Storm Henri which was a record high at the time.
One person died and one is missing after flood waters rushed into basement apartments in Rockville, Maryland. Around 150 people were evacuated.
Montgomery County police said Fire and Rescue personnel arrived on scene and evacuated dozens of people from the apartment buildings. Fifty apartments were impacted by the flooding, and approximately 12 apartments were flooded. Approximately 150 residents have been displaced by the flood waters and have been transported to a reception center.
The Red Cross and Montgomery County Health and Human Services is assisting the displaced residents.
Flooding affected wide areas of the state from early 01 September 2021. Pennsylvania Department of Transport (PennDOT) said more than 50 roads were closed.
Governor Tom Wolf said, “This is an extremely dangerous storm that is impacting the entire state. As we continue to monitor the conditions, I ask everyone to please stay home if you’re able. If you must travel, please monitor the latest road conditions and weather updates. Please, I urge everyone to take this storm seriously and stay safe.”
Emergency officials evacuated about 3,000 people living downstream from a dam near Johnstown. Levels of the Wilmore dam reached the danger mark after hours of heavy rain, prompting pre-emptive evacuations. Levels have since fallen and residents are able to return home.
Around 40 people were rescued from a school bus trapped in floodwaters in Shaler Township, Allegheny County. Flooding was also reported in areas of Bucks and Montgomery Counties, where emergency management officials said several people had been rescued from vehicles in flood waters. Several roads were closed in Perkasie, Bucks County.
In Montgomery County, the Schuylkill River at Norristown and Perkiomen Creek at Graterford reached record levels early 02 September. In the last few hours, Chester and Montgomery County Emergency Management Agencies have advised all residents and businesses downstream of Pickering Creek Dam, located in Schuylkill Township, Chester County, to evacuate the area immediately.
Rainfall records were smashed in New York City after 3.15 inches (80 mm) of rain fell in Central Park in one hour.
Roads were swamped with flood water and the New York City Fire Department responded to rescue calls in all five boroughs. Service on the city’s subway system was suspended or interrupted. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency, describing the flooding as brutal.
“We’re enduring an historic weather event tonight with record breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads. Please stay off the streets tonight and let our first responders and emergency services get their work done,” de Blasio said.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul also declared of state of emergency, as did Governor Phil Murphy for New Jersey.
Severe weather in New Jersey caused over 80,000 power outages and public transport was suspended or delayed.
Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency on 01 September. “Stay off the roads, stay home, and stay safe. We will use every resource at our disposal to ensure the safety of New Jerseyans,” he said.
Severe flooding was reported in Passaic, New Jersey, where numerous vehicles were trapped in water 4 to 5 feet deep (1.2 to 1.5 metres). The mayor of Passaic declared a local state of emergency and told local media that one person had died in the floods.
Meanwhile officials in Virginia report confirmed one fatality as a result of the flooding that occurred in Hurley, Buchanan County on 31 August 2021. At least 20 homes were destroyed as raging flood waters swept through a valley in the southwest of the state.
Residents in Hurley are facing long periods without power and water. Officials are estimating at least 30 days for power to be restored, and estimated 1 year for public water to be restored.
“Residents in this area need to begin planning for long term with these details in mind. The Red Cross is a resource to help those who need assistance in addressing their needs,” Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office said.
Further heavy rainfall was reported over the last 24 hours but had not caused any damage. Clean up operations are ongoing and the Sheriff’s Office asked unauthorized people to stay away from the affected areas.
Louisiana and Mississippi
In the south, Hurricane Ida was blamed on the deaths of at least 4 people in Louisiana and Mississippi. On 30 August officials in Louisiana said 1 person had died in floods near New Orleans and another was killed by tree fall in Baton Rouge.
Two further fatalities occurred on 31 August when 7 vehicles plunged into a 6 metre deep hole near Lucedale, Mississippi, where a highway had collapsed after torrential rains. One person was missing, presumed dead after an alligator attack in flood waters in Slidell, Louisiana.