Heavy Rain from Storms Causes Flash Flooding in N.Y.C. Subways, Strands People in Cars on Highway

·3 min read
Flooding in New York City
Flooding in New York City

NYPD/Facebook Flooding in New York City

Heavy rains in New York City on Thursday caused flash floods in Manhattan subway stations and stranded people on roadways, as seen in viral videos shared on social media.

The city's emergency management division issued a flash flood warning for Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx from Thursday afternoon into the evening, warning that "heavy rainfall will cause flooding of highways and streets." The police department added that "slippery conditions are possible," advising locals to "use caution when driving, walking or biking."

On the Major Deegan Expressway, there were people stranded in their cars due to flooded streets. The NYPD Special Operations' Disorder Control Unit responded to the situation, and "with a little ingenuity, officers used a barrier truck & safely removed over a dozen people from their stalled vehicles," police said on Twitter, sharing photos from the scene.

At 5:17 p.m., the NYPD tweeted: "Due to flooding, expect delays in all major crossings and road closures. Stay off the roads and use public transportation if possible."

Flooding in NYC
Flooding in NYC

NYPD 46 Precinct/Facebook Flooding in NYC

Flooding in NYC
Flooding in NYC

NYPD 46 Precinct/Facebook Flooding in NYC

Some subway stations, however, were severely flooded. One video that went viral on Twitter showed a few people wading through dirty water trying to get through turnstiles and into the station, the water reaching their waist. The user who tweeted the footage said it was the 157th Street station for the 1 train.

As of Friday morning, no stations were flooded, MTA spokesperson Renee Price told CNN.

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Thunderstorms are forecasted to continue in the area on Friday, as Tropical Storm Elsa is expected to come through the Northeast, CNN reports. According to the National Hurricane Center, "Elsa is moving toward the northeast near 31 mph, and this general motion is expected to continue with an increase in forward speed during the next couple of days."

In addition to rainfall and high winds, "a tornado or two will be possible through early afternoon for parts of Long Island and southeastern New England."

Interim President of New York City Transit Sarah Feinberg tweeted Thursday night, "Drains are working remarkably well, and NYCT crews are, as always, working hard and fast and doing great work. Give them room to work and be safe. Water is receding. Stay alert for additional storms. Working as quickly as we can to get everyone where they're going."

Eric Adams, who won New York City's Democratic mayoral primary earlier this week, re-shared the video of the flooded subway station on Twitter, writing that improvements — including elevating entrances and adding "green infrastructure to absorb flash storm runoff — are necessary.

"This cannot be New York," he wrote.

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