'Turn around, don't drown': Wild scenes as US airport, subways flood

·News and Video Producer
·3-min read

A major US airport has flooded as extreme weather continues to damage property and impact lives across the country.

Video shared to Twitter today shows the ground floor at Newark Liberty International Airport near New York inundated with water and resembling a swimming pool.

The airport advised that all flight activity was suspended and passengers were being diverted. Limited flights were able to resume just before midnight on Wednesday.

Newark Liberty Airport has flooded after remnants of Hurricane Ida moved northeast. Source: Kimberly Mairs via @News12NJDesk
Newark Liberty Airport has flooded after remnants of Hurricane Ida moved northeast. Source: Kimberly Mairs via @News12NJDesk

Across the Hudson River, Manhattan and Brooklyn have been caught in the path of flash flooding, with warnings issued on social media.

Vision shared to social media shows traffic has come to a halt as brown floodwater turns roads into rivers.

‘Seek higher ground’: Warning to New Yorkers

The National Weather Service has issued an urgent directive to people in Metro New York City to “seek higher ground now”, adding that it is a “particularly dangerous situation”.

“Do not attempt to travel unless you are fleeing an area subject to flooding,” they said.

“Turn around, don't drown when encountering flooded roads.”

Flooding linked to climate change

Climate change expert Brian Khan, took to social media to share a string of videos showing flash flooding across New York City.

They show a flooded subway station and emergency vehicles attempting to navigate roads choked with water.

“Our infrastructure is not ready for climate change,” he warned.

What’s causing the flooding?

The flooding is the result of remnants of Hurricane Ida moving northeast after devastating Louisiana.

Roads in the Brooklyn borough of Williamsburg have been flooded. Source: Reuters
Roads in the Brooklyn borough of Williamsburg have been flooded. Source: Reuters

Key facts about extreme weather you need to know

Report warns weather related disasters on the increase

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issued a report on Monday which found over the last 50 years, weather-related disasters have increased by a factor of five.

Details of the top 10 most impactful weather events have been revealed. Source: WMO
Details of the top 10 most impactful weather events have been revealed. Source: WMO

Its authors found climate change was a driver of the changes, with storms, drought, flooding and extreme temperatures all impacting countries across the globe.

Flooding and storms were found to have the greatest economic impact, while drought contributed most significantly to the loss of human life.

In total, they found the impact of extreme weather since the 1970s has resulted in just over 2 million deaths and cost close to $5 trillion in losses in the decades between 1970 and 2019

Despite the grim warnings, there was one ray of hope, with the WMO advising that deaths from weather related disasters have decreased almost threefold since the 1970s, thanks largely to improved early warning systems and disaster management.

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