MTA Urges New Yorkers To Avoid Subways, NYPD Asks Drivers To Stay Off RoadsBy Ali Bauman

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency in New York City as the remnants of Ida moved through with heavy rain Wednesday.

The mayor tweeted around 11:30 p.m., saying, “We’re enduring an historic weather event tonight with record breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads.”

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He encouraged New Yorkers to stay inside and to avoid the roads and mass transit.

“The important thing here is just don’t tempt fate. We want people to be fate. Our first responders are stretched really thin right now, and we just want to urge everyone to stay safe until the rain passes,” de Blasio told CBS2.

At 12:50 a.m. Thursday, a travel ban went into effect in the city. All non-emergency vehicles must stay off New York City streets and highways until 5 a.m.

WATCH: Mayor De Blasio Speaks To CBS2 About Mass Flooding In NYC —

The mayor warned the Thursday morning commute could also be dangerous.

“I want to really urge anyone who’s moving around tomorrow, do not go into a street, a road, a highway with a lot of water accumulated. That can be super dangerous,” de Blasio said.

Gov. Kathy Hochul also declared a state of emergency for the rest of New York.

The MTA strongly encouraged New Yorkers to avoid traveling, saying train service was extremely limited, if not suspended, because of the rainfall and flooding.

Janno Lieber, MTA acting chairman and CEO, released the following statement early Thursday morning:

“This has been a historic and challenging night for the region, our customers and transit workers. Torrential rains caused massive amounts of water to enter subways and flood roads, creating severe disruptions to service. Our concern is for those who were in trains stuck after up to six inches of rain fell within hours, and top priority is working with first responders to safely evacuate everyone from the system. New Yorkers should not attempt to travel until further notice. We will be deploying maximum pump capacity and surging workers into the system when it’s safe so that as this epic storm abates service can be restored as soon as possible.”

“We deployed a ton of pumping infrastructure, we unclogged drains, all the preparations, but … this is historic, and the volume is really overwhelming infrastructure all over the region,” Lieber told CBS2.

Lieber says it is too early to determine how much service will be up and running Thursday morning.

WATCH: MTA Acting Chairman, CEO Janno Lieber Discusses Severe Flooding, Storm Damage Caused By Ida —

As CBS2’s Cory James reports, at the Woodhaven Boulevard subway station in Queens, the tracks were completely covered with flood water, and video posted to Twitter showed water gushing into the 28th Street station.

Watch Cory James’ report —

Another video posted to Twitter shows water flooding a city bus. Passengers stand on the seats while the driver appears to navigate the bus through a flooded road.

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Cars got stuck in flood waters in Harlem on Sept. 1, 2021. (Credit: CBS2)

As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reports, at least seven cars were stuck in flood waters at West 125th Street and Amsterdam in Harlem.

Cars were also seen driving through heavy flood waters on the FDR.

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Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams told CBS2 there was even flooding on the Brooklyn Bridge.

“This is the first time in my entire life … to see the [Brooklyn Bridge] flooded and cars are stranded,” he said.

WATCH: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams Speaks To CBS2 About Mass Flooding In NYC —

Adams said the storm wasn’t just affecting the areas of the borough that are usually hit hard by severe weather.

“This storm has impacted those areas that were not impacted previously … I have never witnessed something like this in Crown Heights and parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Fort Greene areas,” Adams said.

The NYPD warned New Yorkers to expect delays in all major crossings and road closures.

It wasn’t just roads and subway stations that were flooded.

Video posted to social media shows a flood of water inside an apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Watch Dick Brennan’s report —

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency Wednesday night, saying it only was the second time they had ever issued such a warning and the first time they had issued it in the city.

A flash flood watch is in effect until 2 p.m. Thursday, and the Office of Emergency Management issued a travel advisory into Thursday morning. The Department of Buildings also ordered construction crews to secure their equipment.

Stick with CBS2, CBSN New York and CBSNewYork.com for the latest forecast and weather alerts. 

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CBS2’s Cory James contributed to this report.

Ali Bauman