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Apartments, cafes and subways are flooded: a state of emergency is declared in New York due to flooding


Olga Derkach

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A state of emergency has been declared in New York due to severe storms causing flash flooding. The city's subways, streets and highways were flooded, and at least one terminal at LaGuardia Airport closed and then reopened on Friday, September 29. The publication told in more detail with the BBC.

Some areas of the city received up to 8 inches (20 cm) of rain, but skies calmed somewhat in the evening.

“This is a dangerous, life-threatening storm,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “I am declaring a state of emergency in New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley due to the heavy rainfall we are experiencing throughout the region.”

She urged people to take safety measures and "under no circumstances attempt to travel on flooded roads."

There were no reports of deaths or injuries.

A state of emergency has also been declared in the city of Hoboken (New Jersey), located on the banks of the Hudson River near New York.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams warned city residents that the state of emergency requires "heightened vigilance and extreme caution."

“Some of the metro stations are flooded and movement around the city is extremely difficult,” he said.

Adams said there were 15 vehicle rescues and three basement apartment rescues.

Although the rain has eased, Gov. Hochul warned that "we are still in danger."

“What worries me most now is that people, seeing a lull in the rain, will start driving their cars out onto the streets,” she said.

On the subject: Downpours in New York and New Jersey: how to survive during the flood, and what to do after it

The flooding caused major disruptions to the New York City subway and Metro North commuter rail service, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Agency. The operation of some metro lines was completely suspended, and many subway stations were closed.

In Mamaroneck, a Westchester County suburb north of the city, rescuers used inflatable rafts to rescue people trapped in buildings by flooding.

Photos and videos showed people wading through knee-high water as streets and subways were flooded. Several videos posted on social media showed water pouring from the ceilings and walls of metro stations and onto flooded platforms.

At the Brooklyn Navy Yard, more than 2,5 inches (6,35 cm) of rain fell in one hour. At a virtual briefing, New York City's chief climate scientist Rohit Aggarwala said the city's sewer system is only designed to handle 1,75 inches (4,4 cm) per hour.

“It’s not surprising that the brunt of the burden fell on Brooklyn neighborhoods,” he noted.

In South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, workers waded through knee-deep water as cardboard and other debris floated past as they tried to unblock a drain.

One resident, Kelly Hayes, said she estimates flood damage to her Gowanus-area bar and kitchen will be between $25 and $000.

Airport closure and record rainfall

Terminal A at LaGuardia Airport was closed due to flooding.

Passengers are advised to check with airlines for information before travelling.

A new daily record was set at Kennedy Airport - 7,97 inches (20,2 cm) of precipitation fell on us, writes New York Post.

A total of 8,48 inches (21,5 cm) of rain has fallen at the Queens airport since the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia returned to the tri-state area, according to the National Weather Service.

Prior to September 29, the rainiest day at JFK was August 14, 2011, when 7,80 inches (19,6 cm) of rain fell.

LaGuardia Airport received 4,87 inches (12,3 cm) of precipitation and Newark received 1,77 inches (4,5 cm), according to the National Weather Service.

During the same time period, 5,85 inches (14,8 cm) fell in Central Park and 6,16 inches (15,6 cm) fell in downtown Manhattan.

Valley Stream in Nassau County received the most rain with 9,12 inches, according to Fox Weather.

The New York Police Department announced, among other things, several road closures and said that the National Guard had been sent to the city.

The Brooklyn-Queens, Belt-Parkway and Prospect-Park expressways turned into rivers teeming with partially submerged cars.

Brooklyn and Queens were hit hardest by the storm, according to meteorologist Brian Mastro of Fox Weather.

The hurricane flooded parts of the city's subway system and turned the stairs at the Grand Army Plaza station on Line 2/3 in Brooklyn into a waterfall.

Elsewhere in the city, traffic came to a standstill as water rose above tire levels on FDR Drive, a major road on Manhattan's east side.

New York City received nearly 14 inches (35,5 cm) of rain this month, marking its wettest September since 1882, according to the National Weather Service.

Residents are not satisfied with the work of the authorities

New Yorkers frustrated by flooded basements and damaged property, writes CBS News.

The water had already subsided, but the flood was so strong that, according to the owner of one of the restaurants, she would have to swim across the street to get to the front door.

Instead, she watched the waters rise on CCTV cameras, and by the time the floods subsided, her outdoor terrace was washed away.

This is the story of just one New Yorker, but a powerful hurricane engulfed everyone.

“Laptops are destroyed, mattresses are destroyed, furniture is destroyed, not to mention the drainage problems,” noted Williamsburg resident Thomas Trevisan.

“The water actually returns through the main sewer line into the basement. Instead of coming out, it goes in and comes out like a damn geyser,” said Kelly Hayes, owner of the Gowanus Garden restaurant.


On the morning of September 29, sewage filled the restaurant's basement and the water level outside exceeded 3 feet (90 cm). They flooded the outdoor cafe and tore it to pieces.

“It will cost me $5 to $000 just to take out the trash, and that’s not even rebuilding my business,” Hayes said.

By the time she received any warning from city officials about the emergency, it was too late, she said.

“We were already underwater,” Hayes noted.

Brooklyn President Antonio Reynoso and Public Advocate Jumaan Williams are criticizing Mayor Eric Adams for what they believe was a lack of action before the storm.

Adams said his administration sent out the notices on Thursday afternoon.

“You would have to be underground not to know that a storm is approaching the city, and we continue to use social networks, all forms of notification,” the mayor commented.

After the remnants of Hurricane Ida hit the region in 2021, many hoped the worst of the flooding was behind us. But September 29 marked another day of unprecedented weather in New York.

“As state and city residents, we need to accelerate our efforts to build stormwater infrastructure and improve our response to climate change,” said Assemblywoman Emily Gallagher.

According to the mayor's office, three people had to be rescued from basements and 15 were evacuated from their apartments. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.

As for Hayes' restaurant, she hopes to open next week but says damage will likely be $30.

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