New York City: A state of emergency has been declared due to flash flooding

  • By Rachel Russell
  • BBC News

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Video: Shows New York flooded

A state of emergency has been declared in New York City as severe storms bring flooding.

Many of the city’s subway systems, streets and highways were flooded, while at least one terminal at LaGuardia Airport was closed Friday.

Some parts of the city saw up to 8in (20cm) of rain, with a few more inches expected late Friday, forecasters said.

“This is a dangerous, life-threatening storm,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

“I am declaring a state of emergency for New York City, Long Island and the entire Hudson Valley due to the extreme rainfall we are seeing across the region,” Gov Hochul said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

He urged people to take measures to stay safe and “don’t try to travel on flooded roads”.

No fatalities or serious injuries were reported.

A state of emergency was also declared in Hoboken, a New Jersey city across the Hudson River from New York City.

In New York City, Mayor Eric Adams warned people that it was time for “high alert and extreme caution” as a state of emergency was implemented.

“Some of our subways are flooded and it’s very difficult to move around the city,” he told a press conference.

On Friday evening, Mr Adams told CBS, the BBC’s partner in the US, that 15 people had been rescued from cars and three from basement flats.

According to the Metropolitan Transportation Agency, the flooding caused major disruptions to New York’s subway system and Metro North commuter rail service. Some subway lines were suspended entirely, and many stations were closed.

In Mamaroneck, a Westchester County suburb north of the city, emergency officials used inflatable boats to rescue people trapped in flooded buildings, Reuters reported.

Pictures and video footage showed people wading through knee-deep water as streets and tunnels were affected by heavy rain. Several videos posted on social media showed water pouring from the ceiling and walls of subway stations and appeared to be flooded platforms.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard recorded 2.5in of rain in an hour. In a virtual conference, New York’s chief climate officer, Rohit Agarwala, said the city’s sewer system is only designed to handle 1.75 inches per hour.

“It’s no surprise that parts of Brooklyn are bearing the brunt of this,” he said.

In South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, workers waded through knee-high water as they tried to unclog a drain as cardboard and other debris floated away.

One resident, Kelly Hayes, told the BBC that she estimated the flood damage to her bar and kitchen in the Gowanus neighborhood to be between $25,000 and $30,000 (£20,500-$24,500).

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People escape from flooding in New York City

Officials said Terminal A at LaGuardia Airport was closed due to flooding.

Passengers are advised to check with their airline before travelling.

The New York Police Department also announced several road closures and said the National Guard had been deployed.

Elsewhere, traffic on the FDR Drive, a major thoroughfare on Manhattan’s East Side, was brought to a standstill as water rose over the tires of cars.

New York City has received 14in of rain so far this month, making it the wettest September since 1882, according to National Weather Service data.

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