Severe rainfall hammered New York City and its surrounding areas on Friday morning, leading to widespread reports of flash flooding, disrupting major subway lines, and stranding commuters. The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood warning for Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, effective until 12:30 p.m., with additional warnings in place for the Bronx, Staten Island, and Jersey City, New Jersey. The Weather Service emphasized the likelihood of flash flooding affecting highways, streets, and underpasses.
Videos circulated showing cars navigating flooded roads in parts of Queens and Brooklyn. Kennedy International Airport, located in Queens, recorded over 3 inches of rainfall, leading to the closure of Terminal A at La Guardia Airport.
Officials strongly advised New Yorkers to refrain from traveling on the roadways due to the dangerous conditions. Governor Kathy Hochul stressed the perilous nature of the situation, emphasizing, “This water is deadly.”
Mayor Eric Adams issued a travel advisory late Thursday night via email and provided updates on Twitter. He was scheduled to hold a joint news conference with the governor at 11 a.m.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) warned of “major disruptions” in subway service, particularly in Brooklyn, owing to the flooding. Subway lines 2, 3, 4, and 5 in Brooklyn were not operational, northbound N trains faced delays, and B train service was suspended in both directions.
At the Clark Street subway station in Brooklyn Heights, a crowd gathered around 9 a.m., uncertain of how to proceed. Flooding had affected the tracks at this deep underground station, which connects passengers under the East River to Manhattan.
Some commuters headed to the nearby A train stop at High Street, where trains were supposed to be running. However, significant delays were reported, and at one point, an announcer advised passengers, most of whom were headed to Manhattan, to consider taking the Long Island Railroad.
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A few blocks away, as water flowed downhill, a girl regretted leaving her rain gear at home while huddled close to a companion. A teenage boy narrowly avoided a younger peer’s pink unicorn umbrella, which threatened to poke him in the face.
By 9:30 a.m., all lanes of the Belt Parkway had been shut down in both directions at Cropsey Avenue in Brooklyn due to flooding, and sections of the F.D.R. Drive were experiencing delays.
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The rainfall was expected to persist throughout the day, with meteorologist Joe Pollina from the National Weather Service forecasting several more inches of rain into the evening. “We still have to see what the afternoon brings,” said Mr. Pollina.