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HomeLatest NewsNew York City's Efforts to Recover from Devastating Flooding: "It Felt Like...

New York City’s Efforts to Recover from Devastating Flooding: “It Felt Like Living in a Lake”

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New York City experienced one of its wettest days in decades, with record-breaking rainfall causing widespread flooding and disruptions. More than 8.65 inches of rain fell at John F. Kennedy International Airport, surpassing the previous September record set during Hurricane Donna in 1960. Parts of Brooklyn saw over 7.25 inches, with some areas experiencing 2.5 inches in just one hour. The severe rainfall temporarily closed highways, subways, and airports. Although no deaths or severe injuries have been reported, the storm evoked memories of the devastating remnants of Hurricane Ida that struck the city two years prior.

Several areas in New York City were flooded, with streets turning into knee-deep canals and drivers being stranded on highways. Six basement apartments were reported to be flooded, but everyone was able to evacuate safely. Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams declared states of emergency and urged residents to stay put. Public transportation, including subway lines and commuter rail services, experienced significant disruptions, while bus services were also affected. Flights into LaGuardia Airport were briefly halted, and one terminal remained closed for several hours due to flooding.

The heavy rainfall was caused by a combination of the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia over the Atlantic Ocean and a mid-latitude system arriving from the west. These systems, coupled with favorable oceanic conditions, resulted in prolonged rainfall over New York City for 12 hours. Scientists attribute the increasing frequency of extreme rainfall events to a warming planet, which allows the atmosphere to hold more moisture. Despite ocean temperatures being below normal during this storm, it marked the third time in two years that rain fell at rates of around 2 inches per hour in Central Park.

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