NYC Local: 'Never Seen Anything Like This in My Life'

Gov. Hochul declares state of emergency in New York metropolitan area due to heavy rain, floods
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2023 1:20 PM CDT
Rain-Fueled Floods Swamp NYC Area
A truck drives through deep water as heavy rains cause streets to flood in Hoboken, New Jersey, on Friday.   (AP Photo/Stefan Jeremiah)

New York's governor has declared a state of emergency for the New York City area, as heavy rains brought flash floods Friday that were "shutting down entire subway lines, turning major roadways into lakes, and sending children to the upper floors of flooding schoolhouses," per the New York Times. There were also major traffic snarls, suspended MTA trains, and delays at LaGuardia Airport due to "severe flooding" near that part of the city. The National Weather Service issued a rare "considerable" flash-flood warning for Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, with other warnings sent out for the Bronx, Staten Island, and Jersey City.

The AP notes that up to 5 inches of rain fell in the area overnight, with another 7 inches or so expected throughout Friday. "This is a dangerous weather condition and it is not over," said NYC Mayor Eric Adams at a press conference with Gov. Kathy Hochul, who called the situation a "life-threatening rainfall event." Hochul advised locals to not venture out on the roads and issued a special warning to those who live in basement homes, which are especially prone to flooding. "Plan your escape route," Hochul said. "Don't wait until water is over your knees before you leave. Don't wait until it's too late."

Officials said that as of shortly after noon, they'd received six reports of flooded basements, though everyone had been rescued. "Never seen anything like this in my life," says one local who was stranded for at least three hours in her car on Manhattan's FDR Drive, which was inundated with floodwaters, per the AP. "It appears that the rainfall from this storm could be New York City's heaviest since Hurricane Ida in 2021," says Jon Porter, AccuWeather's chief meteorologist. The Times notes that when Ida slammed into the New York metropolitan area, basement floods killed nearly a dozen people in Queens. (More New York City stories.)

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