In Williamsburg, New York, Hatzalah members rescued several Torah scrolls from a synagogue that was submerged in flood water.

Dramatic video released by Yeshiva World News shows a line of Hatzalah members in rain slickers and knee high rubber boots, standing waist-deep in flood water, passing water damaged Torah scrolls out of a basement doorway to safety.

In a second video, congregants unroll the Torah scrolls on tables placed together. The Torahs are badly water damaged and the men attempt to smooth out the wet parchment so that it will not wrinkle as it dries.

At least eight deaths have been reported in the New York City and New Jersey region due to a torrent of rain stemming from the remains of Hurricane Ida, according to the Associated Press.

A flash flood emergency has been issued for New York City for the first time ever, said the Weather Service. The historic warning was preceded an hour earlier by a similar emergency issued for the first time for northeast New Jersey.

“I’m declaring a state of emergency in New York City tonight,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday. “We’re enduring an historic weather event tonight with record breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads.”

He added: “Please stay off the streets tonight and let our first responders and emergency services get their work done. If you’re thinking of going outside, don’t. Stay off the subways. Stay off the roads. Don’t drive into these heavy waters.”

De Blasio said the power grid was in potential trouble. “We’re keeping our eyes on our power grid. We’ve seen about 5,300 customers without power.”

Videos of the widespread flooding showed cars immersed in water up to their windows on main New York City roads. Startling footage of garbage floating down streets has also surfaced.