Flash floods: New York City declares emergency

On Friday, parts of New York City were inundated with catastrophic flash floods as severe rainfall persisted after it had poured all night. A state of emergency was established as officials warned that the deluge might become fatal, and a state of emergency was issued as a result.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), there were flash flood warnings issued for around 8.5 million people in the metropolitan area of New York City. During the strong and persistent downpours, the city’s concrete and pavement made flooding worse since the city’s already overburdened sewers were unable to drain rainwater in an adequate manner.

Similar weather advisories were issued for several parts of the state of New Jersey.

Not only did the extreme weather make this the wettest day in New York since the remnants of Hurricane Ida dropped record-breaking rain on the north-east, which killed at least 13 people in the city, the majority of whom were in flooded basement apartments, but it also led to chaos throughout the city and the surrounding region.

The boroughs of Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens in New York City were particularly hard struck, and as a result, many roads were flooded, abandoned vehicles and buildings were submerged, and a significant portion of the city’s public transportation network came to a standstill. In Nassau County, New York, the National Weather Service (NWS) received “multiple reports of water rescues and motorists” who were stuck due to flood levels.

On Friday, Zachary Iscol, the city’s emergency management commissioner, stated that the fact that it was the wettest day in the past two years should not be taken lightly. “That is not a statistic to take lightly,” he added. This demonstrates how important it is for each of us to pay great attention to the weather advisories and to always take the appropriate safeguards.

Officials from the city encouraged citizens to remain in shelters and use extra caution throughout the storm. On the portion of the FDR highway that goes up the east side of Manhattan, there were a number of drivers who chose to abandon their automobiles in the floodwaters.

On Friday, Governor Kathy Hochul of New York issued a state of emergency because to the “extreme rainfall” that the state has been experiencing. According to a post that Hochul made on X, which was once known as Twitter, the statement includes New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson valley.

During this time, two senators from the state of New York, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, penned a letter to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Deanne Criswell, requesting that the agency “stand ready, if requested.”

According to the NWS, between one and five inches of rain have fallen in various regions of New York City since early Friday morning. Rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are still anticipated in certain areas of the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, and Mayor Eric Adams of the city has advised people to prepare for a total of eight inches of precipitation over the course of the next day.

According to the most recent information provided by the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority, floodwaters caused a considerable portion of the New York subway system, which is a large rail network that travels underground for a significant portion of its route, to cease service. Commuters have been cautioned by officials of the transit system to anticipate delays due to “extremely limited” subway service.

People were warned to flee to higher ground and not wait for the floods to rise if their homes began to flood as a result of the heavy rainfall that inundated the streets throughout Brooklyn and Queens. The flooding of the streets was caused by the heavy rainfall. Cars are seen attempting to navigate through flooded streets in south Brooklyn in videos that have been shared on social media.

One user on X uploaded a video that shows a moped that had overturned and was entirely submerged in floodwaters.

Despite the fact that flooding has affected multiple schools in the New York City area, no students have been hurt as a result of the severe weather. David Banks, the chancellor of schools in New York City, stated at a news briefing that a school in Brooklyn had to be evacuated because its boiler was smoking. It is possible that water had gotten into the boiler.

Other schools encountered difficulties as well due to the fact that parents around the city altered their schedules and went to pick up their children. “Children are either being sheltered in place, moved to higher floors, or, in some cases, parents have been asked to pick up their children,” Hochul said during an interview with NBC on Friday. “In some cases, parents have been asked to pick up their children,” Hochul added.

Residents had a difficult time adjusting. At 11 o’clock in the morning, Priscilla Fontallio reported that she had been stuck in her vehicle for three hours, during which time it had been sitting still on a portion of the roadway that wasn’t flooded but also wasn’t moving.

“Never seen anything like this in my life,” she told the Associated Press. “Never seen anything like this.”

Workers were up to their knees in water as they attempted to unclog a storm drain on a street in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, while cardboard and other garbage floated by. The street is located in Brooklyn. The city reported that it had checked and cleared major drains in advance of the storm, particularly those that were located near metro stations.

That did not provide much solace for Osman Gutierrez, who at the time was attempting to remove wet garbage bags and bits of food from a sewer that is located next to the synagogue where he works.

He told the Associated Press that the city needs to increase its efforts to clean the streets. “It’s so filthy.”

The major airports in New York City have also seen disruptions in their services as a result of the flooding. As a result of the severe weather, access to one of LaGuardia International Airport’s terminals was temporarily restricted. The airport is located in Queens.

Additionally located in the borough of Queens, the John F. Kennedy International Airport recorded strong traffic at two of its terminals. Since 12 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, at least three inches of rain had fallen at the airport.

Because of the severe weather, a significant number of flights have been either postponed or canceled at both airports.

According to CNN’s reporting, other cities in the region could also experience similarly significant rainfall. Rainfall of up to 2 inches is possible in Philadelphia and Boston respectively.

The city of Hartford, Connecticut, might receive up to 3 inches of precipitation.

The recent flooding in New York City comes less than three months after a storm triggered fatal floods in New York’s Hudson Valley and put the capital of Vermont, Montpelier, under water.

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