Wild weather on both coasts had New York City bracing for up to 5 inches of rain Tuesday while California was digging rock and mudslides off roads and otherwise cleaning up after historic rains swept across much of the state.
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were among eastern states facing flood warnings as storms that began Monday were expected to linger into Wednesday.
“We wake to heavy rain falling across the Tri-State as a strong coastal low develops offshore,” the National Weather Service in New York tweeted Tuesday. “Several additional inches of rainfall is expected. Take it slow and allow yourself extra time if traveling today.”
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy declared states of emergency. The weather service issued flood advisories across New York City. The Brooklyn Queens Expressway was among main traffic arteries disrupted by flooding during the morning commute.
Wind gusts of up to 60 mph could drive power outages, though minimal disruptions were reported early Tuesday.
Authorities were on the lookout for flash flooding. Rushing waters from Hurricane Ida killed 11 people in basement apartments. last month.
“We know how quickly these storms can escalate, so everyone, especially those living in basement apartments, should plan accordingly,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned.
First nor’easter of season could undergo bombogenesis
The storm has been categorized as a nor’easter since it will be spreading northeasterly winds along the coast and is the first such storm of the season to impact the region, AccuWeather said. The system is expected to quickly strengthen as it moves along the Eastern Seaboard but will begin to lose forward speed and become stationary Tuesday night.
The storm could undergo a period of rapid intensification known as bombogenesis, when the central pressure of a storm drops by 0.71 of an inch of mercury or more over a 24-hour period – becoming a bomb cyclone.
Two bomb cyclones were blamed for severe weather that rolled across California in recent days, triggering record rainfalls, mudslides and flooding.
Philadelphia under flood watches
Much of the Philadelphia metro area was under flash flood warnings as a nor’easter moves through the region. Severe thunderstorms, lightning and heavy downpours rocked the area Monday night into Tuesday, A flash flood watch was in effect until 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Some locations were already reporting three inches of rain before sunrise, and the morning rush brought a slew of traffic accidents and tie-ups.
Midwest wasn’t exempt
The National Weather Service has confirmed that an EF-3 tornado thrashed the southeastern Missouri city of Fredericktown Sunday as strong storms swept the region. A tornado with that rating is considered strong, and wind speeds range from 136-165 mph. The severe weather also drifted into Illinois, damaging buildings and knocking out power. No injuries were reported.
The weather service reported over 2.5 inches of rain fell in the Chicago area during storms the storms that started Sunday and continued into Monday.
California cleanup underway
The severe weather system that has rolled across California for days weakened as it moved south but remained strong enough Monday night to cause mudslides that closed roads in the San Bernardino mountains above Los Angeles.
In the northern part of the state, record rains caused widespread flooding, mudslides and rock slides as soil in wildfire-ravaged areas washed away. Strong winds knocked down trees and even toppled two big rigs on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge near San Francisco.
At the storm’s peak, Pacific Gas & Electric reported that 380,000 homes and businesses lost power, though less than 50,000 customers remained without power Tuesday.
Contributing: The Associated Press