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The Aftermath Of Hurricane Ida Dumps Record Rain On The Northeast


The remnants of Hurricane Ida have made it to the Northeast, dumping record-breaking amounts of rain throughout the region.


MARTÍNEZ: That is the sound of water rushing into a subway station in New York City. As the storm blew through the mid-Atlantic yesterday, it brought about dangerous flash flooding, heavy winds and tornado warnings from Maryland to New Jersey. The National Weather Service issued its first-ever set of flash flood emergencies in New York City last night. And the city's mayor, Bill de Blasio, has declared a state of emergency. NPR's Jasmine Garsd got to experience a bit of that. She joins us from Brooklyn to tell us more. Jasmine, what's New York City like right now?

JASMINE GARSD, BYLINE: Well, last night was wild. There were several reports of tornado touchdowns. We saw flooding on the streets, subway stations flooded, and most of the subway system ended up shutting down. The storm also delayed the U.S. Open in Queens, where the rain started coming into the roofed stadium sideways. There are at least 10 reported dead in four states, over 5,000 power outages in New York, nearly 60,000 outages in New Jersey. And the storm reached as far as Philadelphia, where tornadoes trapped people in their homes and tore trees down.

MARTÍNEZ: On Twitter, Jasmine, that - "The Day After Tomorrow," that Jake Gyllenhaal movie from 2004, is trending right now because they think that that's what New York looks like right now. So how much rain are we talking about here?

GARSD: Newark Airport got 3.24 inches of rain just between 8 and 9 p.m. That's according to the Weather Service. The airport was experiencing severe flooding, and all flights were suspended. Central Park got 3.1 inches within an hour, which broke the record set last week. We got nearly 2 inches back then. That was during Tropical Storm Henri.

MARTÍNEZ: All right. Well, speaking of Henri, that was just last week. And how does this compare?

GARSD: Well, it felt really similar in intensity. But the difference is that last night was pretty unexpected. I, myself, was outside, and I had to figure out how to get back to Brooklyn, where the streets were flooding. I don't think people were as prepared for this one.

MARTÍNEZ: How are officials reacting?

GARSD: It got so intense last night that just before 1:00 a.m., the city of New York issued a travel ban, which was in effect until 5:00 a.m. today. And there were rescue efforts here in New York, and we're starting to hear these reports of several deaths. In New Jersey, the governor declared a state of emergency. Some parts had to evacuate. And this morning, New York is going to start repairing, cleaning up. New York Governor Kathy Hochul last night ordered state agencies to prepare emergency response plans.

MARTÍNEZ: And it appears that the storm is now headed to New England now. What can they expect over the next couple of days?

GARSD: Yes, it's headed to Boston. Local forecasters are calling it a weaker nor'easter, saying people can expect heavy downpour, and some areas could see 4 to 6 inches of rain.

MARTÍNEZ: That's NPR's Jasmine Garsd. Jasmine, thanks a lot.

GARSD: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

A Martínez is one of the hosts of Morning Edition and Up First. He came to NPR in 2021 and is based out of NPR West.
Jasmine Garsd is an Argentine-American journalist living in New York. She is currently NPR's Criminal Justice correspondent and the host of The Last Cup. She started her career as the co-host of Alt.Latino, an NPR show about Latin music. Throughout her reporting career she's focused extensively on women's issues and immigrant communities in America. She's currently writing a book of stories about women she's met throughout her travels.