Floods Swamp New York City


In one of the city’s wettest days in decades, rain struck the New York metropolitan area with a stunning punch on Friday, shutting down numerous subway and commuter train lines, stranding drivers on roads, flooding basements, and closing a terminal at LaGuardia Airport for hours.

By noon, portions of Brooklyn had received over 7 inches (18 centimeters) of rain, with at least one location receiving 2.5 inches (6 centimeters) in just one hour, according to meteorological and city officials. According to the National Weather Service, the roughly 8 inches (20 cm) of rain at John F. Kennedy Airport broke the previous record for any September day established in 1960 during Hurricane Donna.

The deluge came two years after the remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped record-breaking rain on the Northeast and killed at least 13 people in New York City, mostly in flooded basement apartments. Although no deaths or severe injuries have been reported so far from Friday’s storm, it stirred frightening memories.

Ida killed three of Joy Wong’s neighbors, including a toddler. And on Friday, water began lapping against the front door of her building in Woodside, Queens.

“I was so worried,” she said. It became too dangerous to leave: “Outside was like a lake, like an ocean.”

Within minutes, water filled the building’s basement nearly to the ceiling. After the family’s deaths in 2021, the basement was turned into a recreation room. It is now destroyed.

City officials said they got reports of six flooded basement apartments Friday, but all occupants got out safely.

Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams declared states of emergency and urged people to stay put if possible. But schools were open, students went to class and many adults went to work, only to wonder how they would get home.

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