Torrential downpours after a week of mostly steady rainfall triggered flash flooding in New York City on Friday, disrupting subway service in the country’s most populous city and turning many of its streets into small lakes.
A flash flood warning was in effect for New York City as more than 2 inches of rain fell in some locations by Friday morning and two more inches possible within hours, the National Weather Service said.
“Move to higher ground now. Act quickly to protect your life,” the service said in an advisory posted on its website.
The extreme rainfall prompted New York Governor Kathy to declare a state of emergency for New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley.
“Please take steps to stay safe and remember to never attempt to travel on flooded roads,” she said in a message posted on the X social media platform.
Some 18 million people in the New York metropolitan area and in other major cities along the East Coast were under flood warnings, watches and advisories from the weather service, while at least one terminal at LaGuardia Airport was closed on Friday.
Pictures and video footage showed streets and subways flooded across New York, disrupting morning traffic for millions of commuters.
A state of emergency has also been declared in Hoboken, New Jersey, on the Hudson River.
08:38 PM BST
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08:37 PM BST
Rafts used to search for trapped locals
Special operations unit rescue personnel with the Westchester County Emergency Services are using rafts to wade through flood water as they check buildings for trapped people in the New York City suburb of Mamaroneck.
08:34 PM BST
Wet New Yorkers take the subway
Commuters wait at a subway station in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
Multiple New York City subway lines were shut and streets inundated after torrential rain pelted the metropolitan area, prompting warnings about flooding in the city as well as Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey.
08:25 PM BST
'Leave if you are in a basement apartment'
Residents living in apartments under ground level have been advised to leave their property and move to a higher floor amid concerns there homes could become flooded.
⚠️ NYC is experiencing an extreme rain event.
If you live in a basement apartment, move to higher ground or a higher floor. If you lose power and have a disability, access & functional needs, or use life-sustaining equipment (LSE) and need assistance, dial 911. pic.twitter.com/wEGCKtkOCE
— NYC Housing (@NYCHousing) September 29, 2023
08:21 PM BST
Democratic state senator takes aim at mayor Adams
Jessica Ramos, a Democratic state senator for Queens, has criticised the communication strategy, arguing that not enough was done to warn those in minority communities about potential flash flooding.
— Emily Ngo (@emilyngo) September 29, 2023
08:12 PM BST
Bus deluged by water
Passengers on board a New York bus were soaked after water got inside the vehicle.
Bus services have been severely disrupted citywide by the weather, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.
New York City is flooded today. This is the morning commute on an @MTA bus. Half of all subway lines are suspended or delayed. NY governor has declared an emergency. And yet, Mayor of NYC Eric Adams appears totally absent. #newyork
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) September 29, 2023
07:59 PM BST
Person seen hanging out of stranded car submerged on flooded Brooklyn road
07:52 PM BST
Footage shows water gushing down Prospect Park steps
BREAKING : State of emergency declared in New York City due to heavy flooding. pic.twitter.com/G9381xcbmf
— Aldrich (@observer888888) September 29, 2023
07:37 PM BST
City is unprepared for impact of climate change
Rohit Aggarwala Overall, the city’s Environmental Protection Commissioner, said global warming had advanced faster than the city could act to shore up its protections.
“This changing weather pattern is the result of climate change. And the sad reality is our climate is changing faster than our infrastructure can respond,” he said.
07:24 PM BST
Governor Kathy Hochul: flooding will continue
Heavy rain & flooding will continue for the rest of the today & travel conditions are dangerous.
It is critical New Yorkers exercise caution & take steps to stay safe. Avoid walking or driving on flooded roads, which are some of the most dangerous places during flash floods.
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) September 29, 2023
07:13 PM BST
Wettest September in 140 years
As of 11am Friday morning local time, 13.74 inches of rain had fallen in New York City during the month.
The only time the city experienced a wetter September was in 1882, when there was 16.85 inches of rainfall, according to data from the National Weather Service.
07:02 PM BST
Whirlpool appears on New York street hammered by rain
06:58 PM BST
Cars stranded on one of Manhattan's busiest roads
Heavy rains overnight in the northeastern United States has left parts of New York City under water, partially paralyzing subways, roads and airports.
06:43 PM BST
Flooded business suffers £20,000 of damage
The flood sensor on Carroll Street, Brooklyn showed the waters reached as high as 37 inches.
Kelly Hayes, who owns nearby Gowanus Gardens Bar and Kitchen, told the BBC basement is flooded and will cost her between $25,000 and $30,000 (£20,500-£24,500) to fix.
She said she’s lost freezers, her hot water heater and stock.
06:31 PM BST
Mayor Eric Adams says it 'isn't over yet'
Today's weather isn't done with us yet. We might see up to eight inches of rain by tomorrow morning. I personally inspected flooding conditions in Sheepshead Bay and Canarsie.
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) September 29, 2023
06:21 PM BST
New York Meteorologist warns there is 'more to come'
So far this evening is turning out to be as bad as forecasted and there is more to come. PLEASE stay home in the NYC metro, Long Island, and CT.
— NY NJ PA Weather (@nynjpaweather) September 29, 2023
06:17 PM BST
Coastal storm rain grounds planes and shutters subway stations
Dominic Ramunni, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in New York, said Friday’s rain was due to a coastal storm, with low pressure off the East Coast helping to bring in some deep moisture from the Atlantic Ocean.
“This will be one of the wettest days in quite some time,” he said.
Virtually every subway line was at least partly suspended, rerouted or running with delays, and two of the Metro-North Railroad’s three lines were suspended.
Flights into LaGuardia were briefly halted Friday morning, and then delayed, because of water in the airport’s refueling area. Flooding also forced the closure of one of the airport’s three terminals.
05:53 PM BST
New Yorker uses a sauce pan to get rid of water in flooded apartment
pov ur new york apartment comes with a seasonal indoor pool 😍 pic.twitter.com/KXU8vEEqDq
— anna ta (@annaxtaa) September 29, 2023
05:50 PM BST
Traffic officers and pedestrians struggle to cope with flash flooding
05:41 PM BST
Commuters stranded at Brooklyn stations as streets completely flooded
Major flooding in Brooklyn today. Trains shut down and the only way out of the station is through this. pic.twitter.com/yQPLOyc6dX
— Seth Chinnis (@sethchinnis) September 29, 2023
05:29 PM BST
Rubbish floats down streets as Brooklyn roads become a swamp
— shaone (@shaonedon) September 29, 2023
05:19 PM BST
Footage from the city shows flooded subways and cars stranded in water
05:16 PM BST
No fatalities but six rescue operations
Officials said there have been no fatalities or critical patients yet today, but they have had calls from people trapped in cars and basements.
They have carried out six successful basement apartment rescues operations so far.
05:12 PM BST
Mayor: it was the right decision to keep schools open
David Banks, the schools chancellor, said that 150 schools had “taken on some water” and one school was being evacuated, but that all other schools remained open.
Mayor Eric Adams said “We do not have any issues dangerous issues at our schools, our children are in the schools. They are properly being educated. And I believe the chancellor made the right call.”
05:02 PM BST
Venture out at your own peril, says governor
“If people decide to venture out in their vehicle, they do so at their own peril,” governor Kathy Hochul told a press conference.
Today is the wettest day in the city since Hurricane Ida in 2021.
Gov Hochul said that year “people literally drowned in their basement homes”, warning people to “leave your home if you’re starting to see water accumulate. Don’t wait until it’s up to your knees or higher... people really need to be taking this extremely seriously.
04:55 PM BST
Welcome to our live blog
Hello from a very wet New York.
We will be bringing you live updates as flash floods shut down neighborhoods across the city.
Follow along for the latest updates.