Scary Storm in New York: Natural Disaster in Megalopolis

11:56 am  |  04.09.2021

A record storm caused some severe flooding in New York. At least nine people were killed. Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks of the “greatest wake-up call we could get”.

After the historic storm in New York, the number of deaths in the metropolis has risen to nine, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We have lost nine New Yorkers to this storm,” said de Blasio on Thursday and attributed the catastrophic record rain to climate change. The city has never seen such a storm. You are “in a new world,” said the mayor. “That is the biggest wake-up call that we could get.” Now, every storm in New York must be of similar magnitude. Measures against global warming must be stepped up nationwide.

The record storm after Hurricane “Ida” triggered floods of unprecedented proportions and chaos in the metropolis of New York. 

Blasio declared a state of emergency late on Wednesday evening (local time). The National Weather Service (NWS) had difficulties in displaying the dimensions of the precipitation in color on its maps. In view of the life-threatening situation, he declared a flash flood emergency for New York and the surrounding area for the first time.

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Until Thursday, large parts of the subway traffic, which had meanwhile been completely shut down, stood still. It could be seen how the masses of water had flooded stations, while many people were stuck in trains. The US Open tennis tournament had to pause in New York. Floods and a tornado also caused chaos in New Jersey. Covered roofs, destroyed facades, and debris flying around could be seen on TV videos. According to media reports, two people were slightly injured there. There was also a state of emergency in New Jersey.

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Climate Impact Research

Researcher Anders Levermann from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research attributes the events on the US east coast to global warming. Rising temperatures would mess up the weather all over the planet. This is also the case with cyclones. Hurricanes and typhoons draw their energy from the ocean’s surface temperature. Due to global warming, we are increasing this surface temperature and thus making more energy available to the hurricanes. That means that hurricanes are getting stronger – and that the strong hurricanes are increasing.

“If you have two record rainfall in a week, it is no coincidence,” said Senator Chuck Schumer. Global warming is here and it just keeps getting worse and worse if we don’t do anything about it. Governor Kathy Hochul announced an investigation into whether the rainfall could have been more predictable: “We know that between 8:50 p.m. and 9:50 p.m. last night, the sky literally opened and the waters of Niagara Falls hit the streets of New York would bring ”.

Streets were Underwater

In New York’s Central Park, rain fell on an unprecedented scale on Wednesday evening. The National Weather Service registered 80 millimeters within an hour. The record set for New York at the end of August was 49 millimeters.

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Streets and apartments in New York were sometimes about three feet underwater. Given the situation, the metropolis imposed a temporary travel ban: “All non-emergency vehicles must be outside the streets and highways of NYC,” said the city on Twitter. Police cars with blue lights blocked highways in New York, where hundreds of abandoned cars were parked in the middle of the lane.

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100,000 Households Temporarily Without Electricity

In addition to the nine victims in New York, there was one further death each in New Jersey and Maryland. Newark Airport ceased its air traffic in the meantime, and John F. Kennedy Airport reported hundreds of delays. In the meantime, over 100,000 households were without electricity.

The extreme weather also hit the US Open, which is currently taking place. The German tennis player Angelique Kerber, whose game has been postponed. In the Louis Armstrong Stadium, it rained so heavily from the side, that the game had to be suspended.

“Ida” hit the coast of southern Louisiana on Sunday as a dangerous four-of-five hurricane southwest of New Orleans. After that, the storm weakened and moved further northeast.

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Biden Announces Support

“Ida” hit land as a second-highest level four hurricane in southern Louisiana over the weekend. The cyclone wreaked havoc there, weakened as a result, and moved on towards the northeast of the United States.

More than a dozen deaths from flooding and carbon monoxide poisoning have been reported in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

More than 900,000 households in the state of Louisiana still have no electricity. Biden wants to assure those affected of the government’s support: “The nation is ready to help,” said the president before his trip.

Only a week and a half ago, the tropical storm “Henri” caused power outages and floods in the northeastern United States.

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