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Saturday, May 18, 2024

New York declares state of emergency as flash flooding leaves parts of city underwater

Parts of New York were underwater on Friday morning as torrential rainfall caused flash flooding across the city.

A severe storm lodged over the city on Thursday, leaving the city and parts of upstate New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut under flood watchs and warnings.

New Yorkers were urged not to travel as the subway system experienced widespread suspensions, and vehicles were trapped by rising waters.

Two to five inches of rain have already fallen across the city, according to emergency management officials, and one to three more inches is expected in the next 24 hours. Forecasters said the expected rainfall rate is between 1-2.5 inches in the space of an hour in some areas.

Photos and videos were emerging of parts of the city underwater including the Park Slope and Prospect Heights neighborhoods of Brooklyn, where New Yorkers were seen sheltering from knee-high, rising water.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency across New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley due to the extreme rainfall.

“Please take steps to stay safe and remember to never attempt to travel on flooded roads,” she said.

She earlier tweeted: “Brooklyn is seeing some of the heaviest impacts of this rainstorm — all Brooklynites should be extremely careful right now.”

Among the areas that will experience flash flooding include Manhattan’s Lower East Side, East Village, Soho and Midtown; Coney Island, Rockaway Beach, Crown Heights in Brooklyn; and Jackson Heights, Forest Hills and Laguardia Airport in Queens.

“There are currently service disruptions on *every single line* in the NYC subway system amidst extreme rain and flash flooding across the city,” tweeted Manhattan Borough President, Mark D. Levine.

The heavy rain will cause flooding of roadways and likely flash flooding, emergency officials warned. There were “full closures” at the FDR Drive and Delancy Street on the city’s east side, according to the NY Police Department. The Belt Parkway, which wraps around Brooklyn and Queens, was shut down near to Coney Island.

Emergency alerts were sent to cellphones in the city at 9:30 am local time from the National Weather Service (NWS).

“A FLASH FLOOD WARNING is in effect for this area until 12:30 pm EDT,” it read. “This is a dangerous and life-threatening situation. Do not attempt to travel unless you are fleeing an area subject to flooding or under an evacuation order.”

“The potential for historic flooding tomorrow – perhaps 1-in-100 year rain event – in or around NYC is growing. Flash flooding likely,” tweeted WFLA-TV Chief Meteorologist Jeff Berardelli.

The heavy rain is also putting pressure on rivers and streams, raising the risk of flooding, the NWS warned.

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