New York subway stations were submerged in water and streets transformed into rivers as record-breaking rain and flash flooding hit the city on Wednesday night.

In nearby New Jersey and Pennsylvania, tornadoes tore past houses as the remains of the devastating Hurricane Ida wreaked havoc across the US East Coast.

At least 45 people are confirmed to have died across New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

New York Gov Kathy Hochul spoke to CNN this morning and said: “There’s going to be a massive cleanup. I would urge people to stay home, check on your neighbors, make sure they’re OK.”

At least eight passed away in flooded basements in Queens, NY according to city police commissioner Dermot Shea.

Meanwhile, at least nine homes were destroyed by the crushing twisters and battering deluge in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, Philadelphia’s NBC10 TV station reported.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged that the region had been subjected to a "historic weather event", with both he and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declaring a state of emergency on Wednesday.

As the area starts to emerge from the devastation, here’s a look at some of the most dramatic footage taken of the chaos:

The rain ended by daybreak Thursday as rescuers searched for more stranded people and braced for potentially finding more bodies.

At least one death was reported in New Jersey as Passaic Mayor Hector Lora said a 70-year-old man was swept away and authorities were trying to confirm at least one other death in the city.

“His family was rescued, they were all in the same car. Unfortunately, the car was overtaken by the waters, and the firefighters who were being dragged down under the vehicle were unable to get him out,” Lora told local TV station WCBS-TV.

In New York, the rain brought public transport in large parts of the bustling city to a halt. Officials banned travel for all but emergency vehicles until early on Thursday.

FDR Drive in Manhattan, and the Bronx River Parkway were under water, and garbage bobbed in the water rushing down streets.

Among the fatalities reported in the city were a 48-year-old woman and a 66-year-old man who were found dead at separate homes, and a 43-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man who were discovered at the same property. Their identities and causes of death have not yet been confirmed.

Elswhere in NYC, Central Park was hit by more than three inches of rain in one hour, with between six and 10 inches of rain falling over several hours, the National Weather Service said.

As a result, the Service declared its first-ever set of flash flood emergencies in New York  – an alert level that is reserved for "exceedingly rare situations when a severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage from a flash flood is happening or will happen soon."

Storm damage from Ida astounded officials three days after the powerful hurricane pounded southern Louisiana, as reconnaissance flights revealed entire communities devastated by wind and floods.

New Jersey’s Newark Liberty Airport said on Twitter it was experiencing "severe flooding". It said it resumed "limited flight operations" close to midnight after all flight activity was suspended late on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Newark International Airport shut down on Wednesday night due to the weather but was allowing limited flights on Thursday morning.

At least 220,000 customers were without power in the region, with most of the outages in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. More than 35,000 customers were without power on Thursday morning in New York, Long Island and its northern suburbs.

Over in Rockville, Maryland, water had almost reached the ceilings of basement units on Wednesday when crews arrived at an apartment complex.

A 19-year-old was found dead, another person was missing and about 200 people from 60 apartments near Rock Creek were displaced, Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said.

“In many years I have not seen circumstances like this,” Goldstein added.

And yet, more perplexing still is that hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean is far from over.

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