After a severe flood, New York City returns to life

New Yorkers resumed their routines the next morning, after record-breaking rain battered subways, grounded planes and streets in and around New York City on Friday. Rain continued to fall on Saturday, with some areas at risk of further flooding but expected to subside by evening.

As of Saturday morning, the New York City metropolitan area was no longer under a flood watch. A warning indicating the possibility of flooding, according to the National Weather Service. A flood watch remained in effect around New Haven, Kan., until Sunday afternoon.

At a news conference Saturday morning, Gov. Kathy Hochul thanked New Yorkers for heeding official warnings. There were no storm-related fatalities, and emergency crews made 28 rescues “from raging waters” in the Hudson Valley and Long Island, he said.

“I want to emphasize how serious this event is,” the governor said, adding that climate change is making such storms “a new normal.”

As of 9:30 p.m. Friday, parts of Nassau County on Long Island had received a little more than nine inches of rain, while an area near Kennedy International Airport had hit 8.6 inches — the highest in a single day, according to the weather service. .

Friday’s downpour closed half of the city’s subway lines and suspended service on the Metro-North rail line that travels in and out of Grand Central Terminal. Service on the Long Island Railroad was also significantly affected. Flights were delayed or canceled at the city’s airports, and passengers were evacuated from a La Guardia terminal as floodwaters rose.

Ms. Hochul and Janno Lieber, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, emphasized the need to improve city infrastructure to handle increasingly frequent and severe storms.

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“The system was designed a long time ago for a rate of 1.75 inches per hour, and we continue to get more than that, so we need more discharge,” Mr. Lieber told a news conference. .

Although some Metro-North branches still experienced weather-related delays, the subway was operational from Saturday morning. According to the MTA The LIRR and airports have resumed regular service.

Franklin D. Roads that were closed as the storm swept through the city, such as Roosevelt Drive and Belt Parkway, reopened by Saturday morning.

The city’s Office of Emergency Management said in a statement that the agency is still assessing the extent of the flood damage and coordinating recovery efforts, including clearing debris, removing downed trees and collecting reports from residents about the damage.

At least one city-run hospital is still suffering the effects of storm-related damage.

Woodhull Medical Center in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, which ran on emergency generators for several hours after a local power loss on Friday, is evacuating all patients and staff on Saturday so the power company can make repairs, according to a statement.

“We are ready to implement a full evacuation plan,” said the hospital’s chief executive, Gregory J. Callist said.

Critically ill patients were shifted to other hospitals on Friday as a precaution. Another 120 patients are scheduled to be transferred on Saturday, the statement said.

The rain on Friday brought this Second-wettest September in New York City history, according to weather service statistics. 14 inches have fallen this month, the most since September 1882, when the city recorded 16.85 inches.

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The amount of rain in and around New York City was comparable to that of Hurricane Ida in 2021, which killed at least 46 people in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, Ms Hochul told a news conference. He said the absence of hurricane-level winds this time was “a blessing.”

A combination of factors, including heavy rain moving slowly through the metropolitan area, provided the perfect environment for flash flooding, said National Weather Service meteorologist John Murray.

Rain is expected in the region until Saturday evening, but Mr. Murray said “Nowhere near the intensity we saw yesterday.”

Andy Newman Contributed report.

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