Long Island, New York inundated with flash floods

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A storm dumped an entire summer's worth of rain on parts of Long Island, leading to a fatal crash Wednesday and stranding drivers on roads flooded with door-handle-high water.

A person died when an SUV was hit by a tractor-trailer at 4:40 a.m. on the Long Island Expressway near Dix Hills, during the height of the storm, according to Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke. He said it appeared the SUV was driving slowly when it was hit by the larger vehicle.

The person who died was in the SUV; the body was burned beyond recognition, said Burke.

The staggering rain total, over 13 inches, was recorded from Tuesday evening until Wednesday morning at an airport in the hamlet of Ronkonkoma in Islip. That was more than the area's normal total for June, July and August of 11.75 inches, said Joe Pollina of the National Weather Service. More than 5 inches of it fell in just a one-hour period, from 5 to 6 a.m. Wednesday, Pollina said.

Volunteer firefighters used rafts to rescue drivers, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said. (AP)

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