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'Exceedingly rare' flash flood emergency across NYC region where Ida has killed at least 20

The National Weather Service office in New York declared its first-ever set of flash flood emergencies in the region overnight.

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. — Relentless rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ida has sent the New York City area into a state of emergency as the storm carried into New England with threats of more tornadoes.

According to the New York Times and others, at least 20 deaths were reported in the NYC region by noon on Thursday.

The National Weather Service office in New York declared its first-ever set of flash flood emergencies in the region Wednesday night, an alert level that is reserved for “exceedingly rare situations."

The NYT reported people died as waters rose in basements. There was also a tornado reported in southern New Jersey where a stretch of houses were leveled. There are about 200,000 homes without electricity in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The storm blew through the mid-Atlantic states Wednesday with at least two tornadoes, heavy winds and drenching rains that collapsed the roof of a U.S. Postal Service building in New Jersey and threatened to overrun a dam in Pennsylvania.