Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the remnants of Ida over the Northeast on September 1, 2021, when record-breaking rainfall led to deadly flash flooding. At least 44 people were killed in floodwater across four Northeastern states.
Ida merged with another storm system and dumped several inches of rain per hour in some places that had recently been soaked by Tropical Storm Henri. The torrential rainfall triggered devastating flash floods in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.
According to NASA, rain gauge data indicate that many of the worst-hit areas saw 6 to 10 inches of rain fall in just a few hours, a deluge that quickly turned streets into rushing rivers and buildings into islands.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued flash flood emergency warnings for New York City and parts of New Jersey. The NWS says that these alerts are reserved for “exceedingly rare situations when a severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage from a flash flood is happening or will happen soon.”
New York City’s Central Park received 3.15 inches of rainfall in one hour. The resulting floodwater swept away cars and inundated the city’s subway system. Many people lost their lives inside of basement apartments after becoming trapped by a wall of water.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory