Storm Ida hit the US states of New York and New Jersey on Wednesday, moving northeast, bringing heavy rain and warnings of flying debris injuries as authorities rushed to close airports and declare a state of emergency.
Ida slammed into the southern state of Louisiana on Sunday, bringing severe flooding and tornadoes as it blazed a trail of destruction north and east.
New York State Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency as the remnants of the storm caused massive flooding in New York City, the US’s financial and cultural capital, leaving the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens inundated.
“Take shelter NOW. Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without shelter. Move to a lower floor and stay away from windows,” tweeted New York City’s emergency notification body.
Hundreds of flights have been cancelled at nearby Newark, LaGuardia and JFK airports and flooding has closed major roads across boroughs of the metropolis, including Manhattan, The Bronx and Queens.
The city earlier issued a rare flash flood emergency warning, urging residents to move to higher ground.
“Significant and life-threatening flash flooding is likely from the Mid-Atlantic into southern New England,” the National Weather Service said in a bulletin, adding three to eight inches of rain could drench the region through Thursday.
In Annapolis, 50km (30 miles) from the US capital, a tornado ripped up trees and toppled electricity poles.
Flooding elsewhere in Maryland killed a 19-year-old man and left another person missing after a building was inundated on Wednesday, bringing the death toll from Ida to seven.