(CNN)A nor’easter’s heavy rains flooded some roads in parts of New Jersey and upstate New York on Tuesday, and the storm is threatening more high water and strong winds in the Northeast as the day goes on.
The storm, expected to deliver about 2 to 6 inches of rain in short order over several states, led the governors of New Jersey and New York to declare states of emergency in advance, just weeks after Hurricane Ida left severe flooding there in early September.Up to 5 inches of rain had fallen in parts of New Jersey by 11 a.m. ET, flooding some roads, creeks and streams, the National Weather Service said. In New Jersey’s Union Beach south of New York City, floodwaters trapped some vehicles, and emergency workers made more than a dozen water rescues late Monday into early Tuesday, Union Beach Police Chief Michael Woodrow said. No injuries there were reported.Gov. Phil Murphy delayed the opening of state government offices until 11 a.m. to allow workers ample time to arrive.Read More”If you’re out on our roads and come across a flooded section, please just turn around — don’t go ahead. Sadly, we lost too many people in Ida who went ahead,” Murphy told reporters Tuesday morning.LIVE UPDATES: Nor’easter, East Coast, CaliforniaFlooding also was reported on roads in New York’s Delaware, Ostego and Sullivan counties, the weather service said.Flash flood watches were in effect Tuesday for eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and parts of New York and southern New England, with rain expected into Tuesday evening or early Wednesday.People with umbrellas walk in the rain and steam in New York City’s Manhattan borough on Tuesday.Extreme winds expected to knock out powerDamaging winds are expected to blow down trees and power lines in some areas. A high wind warning was in place for parts of eastern Long Island, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. New Jersey and New York issue states of emergency ahead of nor'easterThe strongest winds in New York will be Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning. The system still was strengthening early Tuesday afternoon, CNN meteorologist Tom Sater said. By that time, gusts above 40 mph already had been recorded in parts of New York and Connecticut, the weather service said.”The winds are going to get stronger (and) there’s going to be more rainfall for some people,” Sater said around 2 p.m. ET.In eastern Long Island’s Suffolk County, rain was strong enough at times to obscure visibility for drivers in the morning, and more than 20 vehicle crashes happened there in the day’s first 11 hours, county Executive Steven Bellone said.Power outages could accumulate later in the day as winds pick up, Bellone said.Eversource Energy, New England’s largest energy provider, warned that tens of thousands of customers could lose power in the storm, as early season nor’easters present a greater risk to power lines because the leaves are still on the trees.”When trees still have most of their leaves, the risk of tree-caused outages with a nor’easter is much higher,” according to Sean Redding, an Eversource vegetation management official. “Weighed down by the rain, the leaves act like a sail, causing the tree to bend with the wind.”In Boston, winds are expected to increase as Tuesday progresses, with the strongest winds overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. Conditions there will slowly improve late Wednesday morning, with some impacts lasting into the evening.Generally in parts of the Northeast, “there will be winds onshore; there will be waves onshore — 8 to 12 feet tall,” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said Tuesday morning.A barricade blocks access to a road flooded by rain in Branchburg, New Jersey, on Tuesday. What is a nor’easter?A nor’easter is a storm along the East Coast with winds typically coming from the northeast, according to the National Weather Service. The storms can occur at any time of year but are most common between September and April.In winter, temperatures associated with a nor’easter can be much more extreme than in the fall, which can lead to more intense storms and snow. The storms can cause beach erosion and rough ocean conditions, with winds of 58 mph or more.The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees the New York City subway and other transit lines, was expecting several inches of rain over 12 hours, but nothing like Hurricane Ida, which caused severe flooding in the region in early September.”At no point do we expect to see the type of intense rainfall over a very short term that we had during Hurricane Ida,” MTA’s acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, noting the city saw more than 3.5 inches in one hour during Ida. “But, we are prepared for whatever comes,” Lieber added.The biggest issue and constraint the MTA faces is the city sewers, which can be overwhelmed as they were during Ida, Lieber said, but they didn’t expect it to be an issue during the storm.