Severe Flooding Strikes New York, Disrupting Subway Services
Heavy rainfall has cause widespread flooding strikes New York City, resulting in significant disruptions, including the suspension of subway services and road closures.
Record-Breaking Rainfall and Subsequent Chaos
On Friday, September 29th, the city experience a deluge of rain, with some areas receiving nearly eight inches (20 cm) of precipitation. The consequences of this downpour were immediately felt as streets turn into rivers, stranding vehicles and commuters for hours. The subway system, a lifeline for the city, not spare, with several lines temporarily suspend.
The effects of the heavy rainfall also extend to air travel, as many flights at New York airports were delay or cancel. In one notable incident, a terminal at LaGuardia Airport evacuate due to flooding.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams urge residents to stay indoors, cautioning that many roads were block, and subway stations were flood. He emphasize the challenging travel conditions, particularly within the city.
“If you’re home, stay home. If you’re at work or school, shelter in place for the time being. Some of our subways have been flood, and it’s very difficult to get around the city,” he said.
Images share on social media depict passengers wading through ankle-deep water in subway stations, highlighting the extent of the flooding.
State of Emergency Declared
New York Governor Kathy Hochul declar a state of emergency in response to the severe flooding. The flooding resultfrom record-breaking rainfall, overwhelming infrastructure and causing substantial disruption.
Flooding affect not only roads and subways but also basements, schools, and other critical infrastructure. Rapidly rising and torrential floodwaters caught some commuters and drivers off guard during the busy Friday morning rush hours.
In response to the flooding crisis, emergency responders work tirelessly to rescue individuals trapp in their vehicles. Firefighters from the New York City Fire Department report performing rescues in six flood subway stations across the city.
The subway and train services were significantly affect by the flooding, causing major disruptions. Subway operations on ten lines were halte during the morning hours but resume on Friday night.
Approximately 150 schools in the New York City area were report to be inundated by floodwaters. In Brooklyn, students had to be evacuate as floodwaters cause a school’s boiler room to emit smoke.
The record-breaking single-day rainfall, nearly eight inches in total, at John F. Kennedy International Airport unprecedent since 1948. In just three hours, the Brooklyn area received rainfall equivalent to a month’s worth.
Local scientists attribute the unusually heavy rainfall to climate change, noting that a warmer atmosphere acts like a large sponge, absorbing more moisture and releasing it in the form of heavy rain. Outdated flood defenses in New York are ill-equipped to handle such events.
“As a whole, as we know, this pattern change is the result of climate change. And the sad fact is that our climate is changing faster than our infrastructure can respond,” remarked Rohit Aggarwala, Chief Climate Officer for New York City.
Emergency Declarations Extend to Neighboring New Jersey
Governor Kathy Hochul’s declaration of a state of emergency not limit to New York City alone; it encompassed Long Island and the Hudson Valley as well. The flooding crisis prompted New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy to follow suit, declaring a state of emergency in his state, which borders New York.
The severe flooding in New York underscores the urgent need for resilient infrastructure and proactive measures to address the challenges posed by climate change. It serves as a stark reminder that extreme weather events, once considered rare, are becoming increasingly common in a changing climate, necessitating swift action to adapt and mitigate their impacts.