NEW YORK — Record-breaking rainfall led to historic flooding Wednesday evening in New York and New Jersey, with officials declaring rare emergencies warning people to stay away from dangerous flood waters to protect their lives.
Just after midnight on Thursday, Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency in New York. She urged people to stay of the roads.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy issued a state of emergency in response to the storm late Wednesday.
“Tropical Storm Ida is severely impacting all areas of our state,” he said. “The safety of our residents is our main priority, and we urge everyone to be informed of local weather conditions and to stay off the roads.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed suit.
MTA officials urged New Yorkers to avoid all subway travel if possible.
The threat of a tornado loomed in New York Wednesday shortly after possible tornadoes were caught on video in New Jersey, and pounding winds and howling rain overtook the region due to Ida’s remnants.
A tornado watch was announced for the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and New York’s Nassau, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester counties. It was expected to expire at 1 a.m. Thursday.
A tornado warning was previously issued for the Bronx, New Rochelle and Mount Vernon, but expired at 9:30 p.m..
A tornado watch was announced for Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, Union counties and was set to expire at 1 a.m., according to the weather service.
Several reports of tornados were made in the region, stretching from Maryland to South Jersey. Just after 7 p.m., the weather service warned a confirmed tornado in the Burlington area was going to cross into southern Bucks County.
“This storm has had a history of producing tornadic activity,” the weather service tweeted around 7:30 p.m. “Remain vigilant and keep an eye on further updates in case a tornado warning is issued for Union County.”
A rarely issued tornado emergency was earlier issued for the Trenton area in Central New Jersey, citing imminent danger from a tornado that has been spotted.
A flash flood emergency was issued for New York City for the first time ever, according to the Weather Service. It was only the second time ever that the weather service issued such an alert for the region, with the first being for northeast New Jersey an hour prior.
A flash flood warning was issued for Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, as well as Putnam, Rockland, Westchester and western Suffolk counties until midnight.
A flash flood warning was issued for Hunterdon, Warren, Burlington, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Somerset counties. The alerts were set to expire between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. Thursday.