New York’s subway tunnels have become canals as the city faces a major bout of flash flooding, engulfing roads and freeways and leaving some stranded motorists in need of rescue after hours of heavy rainfall.
A soggy Thursday afternoon in the Big Apple saw residents wading through waist-deep water as they attempted to reach their subway platforms, while streets – including the Major Deegan Expressway – were crippled by the downpour. Numerous videos floating around social media captured the flooding.
“Stairs looking like a water park ride right now,” one Instagram user wrote, sharing a photo of a waterlogged subway stop.
Casting that advice aside, a few dedicated commuters donned plastic garbage bags in a futile attempt to stay dry – what one observer dubbed the “potato sack race approach.” Some ‘racers’ were more successful than others.
Large sections of the Major Deegan were seen submerged in murky water, overtaking some vehicles. A stretch on the northern portion of FDR Drive was also nearly inundated, though some drivers managed to squeeze through.
#HappeningNow Traffic Advisory, please avoid the Major Deegan Expressway in the v/o 179th Street due to severe flooding. #NYPD SRG is conducting rescue operations utilizing a barrier truck to remove stranded motorists from their vehicles. pic.twitter.com/wZnil61zqV— NYPD Special Ops (@NYPDSpecialops) July 8, 2021
With motorists left stranded by the floods, the NYPD dispatched its ‘strategic response group’ to make rescues, in one case using a large flatbed to ferry passengers to dry land.
Not just law enforcement officers...Kudos to these SRG cops who are using a little innovation & one of our barrier trucks to rescue stranded motorists on the Major Deegan Expressway.#finestpic.twitter.com/9iwr8GUFxX— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) July 8, 2021
The floods followed hours of thunderstorms on Thursday afternoon, with a flash flood watch set to remain in effect until Friday morning as the deluge is expected to pick back up. Several New York boroughs are also under a flash flood warning, which suggests a more immediate threat, including the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, while a warning was also issued in nearby Fairfield County, Connecticut.
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