Wed | Dec 6, 2023

New York begins drying out after record-breaking rainfall

Published:Saturday | September 30, 2023 | 4:32 PM
A man works to clear a drain in flood waters on Friday, September 29, 2023, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A potent rush-hour rainstorm has swamped the New York metropolitan area. The deluge Friday shut down swaths of the subway system, flooded some streets and highways, and cut off access to at least one terminal at LaGuardia Airport. (AP Photo/Jake Offenhartz)

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City began drying out Saturday after being soaked by one of its wettest days in decades, as city dwellers dried out basements and traffic resumed on highways, railways, and airports that were temporarily shuttered by Friday's severe rainfall.

While the fierce storm has moved on, some of its damage lingered into the weekend.

A power outage in a Brooklyn neighbourhood caused by the storm prompted city officials on Saturday to evacuate staff and about 120 patients from a city hospital, after the region's power company, Con Edison, said the facility's emergency power had to be shut down so the utility can make repairs.

City officials said the repairs could take several days before the hospital in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhood can resume full operations.

Parts of Brooklyn saw more than 7.25 inches (18.41 centimetres), with at least one spot recording 2.5 inches (6 centimetres) in a single hour, turning some streets into knee-deep canals and stranding drivers on highways.

Record rainfall — more than 8.65 inches (21.97 centimetres) — fell at John F. Kennedy International Airport, surpassing the record for any September day set during Hurricane Donna in 1960, the National Weather Service said.

More rain was expected over the weekend but the worst was over, Governor Kathy Hochul said Saturday morning during a briefing at a transportation control centre in Manhattan.

What could have been a life-threatening event was averted, she said, because many people heeded early calls to stay put or head for higher ground before it was too late.

As a result, Hochul said, “No lives were lost.”

But the governor said 28 people had to be rescued from the “raging water” by first responders in the Hudson Valley and on Long Island.

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