Tropical Storm Ida Hits New York
Tropical Storm Ida has caused severe flooding in the US state of New York in recent days. Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency, but that did not prevent the loss of at least 20 people from the region. “Due to climate change, this will happen more and more.”
Metro tunnels in which the water is meters high, people fleeing their flooded houses in panic and a breakdown that robs thousands of citizens of their power connections: in the night from Wednesday to Thursday, storm Ida turned New York into a disaster area.
The devastation came as no surprise to residents of the state: Ida made landfall in New Orleans on Sunday as a hurricane, causing sustained winds of 150 miles per hour at the time. Since then, the hurricane evolved into a tropical storm, but more people died in populous New York than in the southern states. Six people were killed before Wednesday; since then, at least 20 people have been added.
Mayor Bill de Blasio had made advances to protect his people. For example, he advised New Yorkers not to go out on the streets during the storm, asked the subway network to limit its services and issued a ban on driving. In addition, traffic at three airports in the region was shut down on Wednesday evening, although this was mainly for practical reasons. At one point, the water level in the Newark airport’s baggage claim and departure lounge was knee-high.
New York City officials have repeatedly called Ida a historical and unusual storm, but US climate scientists fear that such weather phenomena will become more frequent in the future. “Global warming will make it more and more extreme. As a result, hurricanes will bring more and more rain,” meteorologist Rosimar Ríos-Berríos told the New York Times.
This is not only a concern for the people from coastal areas who come into direct contact with hurricanes. Just like with Ida, they often weaken to tropical storms that can cause suffering elsewhere. For example, calculations by news channel CNN show that in just five hours, enough precipitation fell in New York City to fill 50,000 Olympic swimming pools.