More than 60 MILLION are under flash flood watches as Tropical Depression Ida heads northeast
- More than 60 million people throughout the northeast are under flash flood watches as Ida – now a tropical depression – moves along the coast
- The National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center said ‘significant and potentially life-threatening’ flooding is expected
- Meteorologists predict two to three inches of rain will fall every hour in the northeast, with total amounts reaching up to six inches
- Areas in northern Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and eastern West Virginia could see the highest impacts from the storm
- The storm has already caused significant damage and flooding in Louisiana
- Experts say it left behind billions of dollars in damages
More than 60 million people throughout the northeast are under flash flood watches as Ida – now a tropical depression – moves its way into the area.
According to the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center: ‘Flash flooding, some of it significant and potentially life-threatening, is expected to go through the late morning and early afternoon hours as TD Ida approaches the region from the southwest.’
‘Flash flood emergency level rainfall impacts are possible as we head into the afternoon hours,’ the Weather Prediction Center said, referring to the highest level flood warning, which indicates immediate and significant threats to life and property.
Two to three inches of rain are expected every hour in the northeast, with total amounts reaching up to six inches. That total could be higher in certain areas.
Northern Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and eastern West Virginia could see the highest impacts from the storm – which has already caused extensive flooding in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi and billions of dollars of damage.
Hurricane Ida has already caused significant flooding in Louisiana and Mississippi
Experts say it also caused billions of dollars in damage in its path
The storm – now a tropical depression – is moving into the northeast, where two to three inches of rain are expected every hour Wednesday evening
By 4 p.m. on Wednesday, there were already reports of an uncontrolled release of Pennsylvania’s Wilmore Dam, causing flash flooding downstream and forcing the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood emergency.
A tornado watch has also been issued for parts of southeast Pennsylvania, as more than 60 million are under flash flood watches for parts of the central Appalachians, mid-Atlantic, southern New York and southern New England.
‘Five inches of rain doesn’t happen in this region very often,’ CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said. ‘We could easily see some deadly flash floods like we saw in Tennessee last week.’
The Appalachian Mountains could see the brunt of the damage, he noted, as they are more vulnerable to flooding.
‘All the moisture from the Gulf and even just the Atlantic are pushed up against the mountains by the circulation around Ida,’ he explained.
‘The mountains enhance the rainfall, then gravity takes over [and] the water flows downhill, which can lead to significant flash flooding.’
In the more urban areas, CNN reports, rivers could overflow and cause even more significant flooding.
Meanwhile, the Mid-Atlantic region, including the cities of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C., are facing a level three out of five risk for tornadoes, and New York City is facing a level two out of five risk.
The Maryland Emergency Management Agency tweeted that a tornado watch remains in effect for 17 counties until 7 p.m.
In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf urged residents to stay home and take the storm seriously.
‘This is an extremely dangerous storm that is impacting the entire state,’ he said in a statement. ‘As we continue to monitor the conditions, I ask everyone to please stay home if you’re able. If you must travel, please monitor the latest road conditions and weather updates.
‘Please, I urge everyone to take this storm seriously and stay safe,’ he said.
He noted that he has already dispatched water rescue teams to areas of the state that could see a lot of flooding, and the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center began 24-hour operations at 8 a.m. with in-person and virtual staffing.