Torrential Downpours Paralyze New York City With Flash Flooding

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New York City grappled with a crippling deluge on Friday as relentless downpours, following a week of continuous rainfall, unleashed havoc across the city, triggering flash floods that disrupted daily life.

The National Weather Service sounded the alarm with a flash flood warning that remained in effect until midday. By Friday morning, certain areas had already been deluged with over 2 inches (5.08 cm) of rain, and forecasts projected an additional 3 inches within hours.

Parts of Brooklyn, lower Manhattan, and John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens reported staggering rainfall amounts of up to 6 inches, posing a life-threatening situation, according to meteorologist Zack Taylor of the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.

Travel became treacherous, prompting Taylor to advise residents to stay indoors until the weather system moved away from the coast later in the evening.

The intensity of the rainfall led New York Governor Kathy Hochul to declare a state of emergency for New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley, urging residents to prioritize safety and avoid flooded roads.

New York’s transportation infrastructure bore the brunt of the flooding, with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority reporting major disruptions to the subway system and the Metro North commuter rail service. Numerous subway lines were suspended, and several stations shut their doors.

Across the broader New York metropolitan area and along the East Coast, around 18 million people were under various flood warnings, watches, and advisories from the weather service.

Images and videos circulating on social media showcased submerged vehicles on neighborhood streets and waterlogged subway stations, causing commuter chaos during the morning rush.

In the nearby city of Hoboken, New Jersey, most southern routes into the city were submerged, activating recently installed flood gates designed to automatically close when roadways accumulate water, effectively blocking vehicular traffic. These floodgates were a critical part of the city’s flood management infrastructure.

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