After being hit by Hurricane Ida, record levels of rainfall and “brutal flooding” caused New York City to declare a state of emergency.
This is what you need to know.
Will Storm Ida come to the UK?
Hurricane Ida, which is considered a category four storm in the US, has left wreckage in its path, causing flooding in New York and power outages in New Orleans.
The Met Office says that the storm is not likely to hit the UK in its current form, but that it could still have a knock on effect on UK weather.
A spokesperson said: “According to our current models, Hurricane Ida is unlikely to travel across the Atlantic intact and affect the UK directly.
“However, our models are showing that it could indirectly influence the weather in the UK next weekend, with a low pressure system building out to the west, which could bring some sustained rain on Saturday or Sunday.
“Obviously we’re still a little far out to know the precise timings of this and there are some differences in our models as to how this will develop.”
What’s the path of the hurricane like?
The hurricane is expected to continue along a northern-eastern path inland across America, with the likes of Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia all expected to be affected throughout the week.
It’s then believed that the storm will reach the east coast between Wednesday and Thursday.
What’s going on in New York?
Late on Wednesday, the relentless rain from the aftermath of Hurricane Ida led officials to declare a state of emergency in New York City.
Bill de Blasio, New York City Mayor, said that the city was “enduring an historic weather event”.
He wrote on Twitter: “I’m declaring a state of emergency in New York City tonight. We’re enduring an historic weather event tonight with record breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads.”
He continued: “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. Stay inside.”
New York Governor Kathy Hochull additionally declared her first state of emergency for New York.
Hochull tweeted: “I am declaring a state of emergency to help New Yorkers affected by tonight’s storm.”
The National Weather Service (NWS) said that in one hour, it recorded 3.15 inches of rain in New York’s Central Park, overtaking the new record that was recorded only last month.
The NWS also issued its first ever fast flood warning for the city of New York, which is only used for “exceedingly rare situations when extremely heavy rain is leading to a severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage”.
The NSW New York City Twitter account said: "This emergency was issued due to the ongoing life threatening flash flooding.
The heaviest rain has pushed east of the Flash Flood Emergency area, with more moderate rainfall the next few hours."
Hurricane Ida arrived just a month after New York was hit by Tropical Storm Henri, leaving the city even more vulnerable.
What areas in the US have been affected?
In New York City, subway stations and tracks became so flooded that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority had to suspend all of its services.
By late Wednesday evening, the FDR Drive and the Bronx River Parkway were both under water.
The Newark Liberty Airport Twitter account announced: “We’re experiencing severe flooding due to tonight’s storm.
“All flight activity is currently suspended and travellers are strongly advised to contact their airline for the latest flight and service resumption information.
“Passengers are being diverted from ground-level flooded areas.”
Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency in all of the 21 counties in New Jersey.
The states of Virginia and West Virginia have also declared states of emergency in anticipation of the arrival of Storm Ida.
Residents in Louisiana have been left without power after the storm ravaged its power grid, battering the area with 150mph winds. The storm additionally left a power outage in New Orleans.
Have people died?
As the storm rages on, a number of states in the US have reported deaths:
- New Jersey - 23 deaths
- New York - 16 deaths
- Louisiana - 11 deaths
- Mississippi - two deaths
Mayor Hector Lora told CNN that a person was killed in the flash flooding in the New Jersey city of Passaic. He said that a body was retrieved from the water after their vehicle was swept away by the floods.
According to NBC New York, one of the deaths in New York City was that of a two year old boy.
What has Joe Biden said?
In a news conference on Thursday (2 September), President Joe Biden addressed the nation.
He said: “The past few days of Hurricane Ida and the wildfires in the west and the unprecedented flash floods in New York and New Jersey is yet another reminder that these extreme storms and the climate crisis are here.
“We must better prepare. We need to act.
“It’s a matter of life and death, and we’re all in it together.”
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