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What Imelda would look like if it hit New York, L.A. or D.C.

John Roach
A car drives through floodwaters from Tropical Storm Imelda Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Tropical Storm Imelda never quite reached hurricane status on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, as Hurricane Harvey did in 2017 when it made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane and struck some of the same areas. Doesn't matter; Imelda's torrential rain and flooding caused hurricane-like damage throughout southeast Texas.

"This was unexpected - Harvey was expected," Ellen Barber, evacuated to a Red Cross shelter in Anahuac, Texas, told the New York Times. "To me, this is worse."

Imelda, which hit landfall as a tropical storm Tuesday, resulted in at least three deaths, hundreds of evacuations and more than 1,000 calls for assistance. Given the major flooding with a high risk to lives and property, Imelda was rated as a 3 on the AccuWeather RealImpact Scale for Hurricanes for the overall tropical storm.

The slow-moving system's torrential rain recalled scenes from Hurricane Harvey two years ago. Imelda was the seventh wettest U.S. tropical cyclone of all time with 43.39 inches of rain. Harvey is first with 60.58 inches (see chart).

For comparison and to show the storm's impact, AccuWeather placed maps of Imelda with its center over New York City, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

On the New York City map, Imelda stretches almost as far as New Haven, Connecticut, in the North and as far Pennsylvania and the tip of Delaware at its southernmost points.

With Washington, D.C. as Imelda's center, the storm would have gone as far north as Pennsylvania and almost as far south as North Carolina.

For the Los Angeles map, much of the storm would have been in the Pacific Ocean, but California coastal cities from Ventura to San Diego would have been impacted, with L.A. and Pasadena getting the worst of the storm.