USA – Heavy Rain Floods Parts of New York and New Jersey

Severe weather continued to affect parts of the USA on Monday, 16 April, with flooding reported in New York City and other locations in the tri-state area. Roads were closed and public transport disrupted. Emergency services were called on to rescue around 50 people from their vehicles.

Heavy rain also affected parts of West Virginia, where a state of emergency had been declared for 10 counties.

The flooding follows a massive storm from 13 to 15 April, 2018, that reached from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest, bringing with it heavy snow, hail and tornadoes. Up to 2 feet of snow fell in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin. At least 5 people are thought to have died as a result of the storm.

Major flooding also struck Kauai Island in Hawaii over the weekend after record rain of 27.52 inches (699 mm) fell in a 24-hour period from 14 to 15 April in Hanalei.

Hackensack New Jersey – floods 16 April 2018. Photo: Hackensack FDNJ
Flash floods in NYC, April 2018. Photo: NYPD 33rd Precinct

Record Rain in New York

Nation Weather Service New York said on 16 April, “Lots of rain today! Generally, 1.00″ to 3.50″ fell across the area, with isolated amounts over 4.00″! This led flash flooding, especially in the NYC metro area, which is where the heaviest of the rain fell as well as in New Haven county in CT.”

The rainfall was measured at 3.29 inches (83.56 mm) in Central Park by early afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

New rainfall records were set at Newark (EWR) where 2.99″ (76 mm) of rain broke the old record of 2.82″ (71.63 mm) set in 1986, and LaGuardia (LGA) where 2.50″ (63.5 mm) broke the previous high of 2.45″ (62.23 mm) set in 1983.

Westwood, New Jersey saw the most rain in the area, with a total of 4.48 inches (113.79 mm).

Disruption and Rescues

NWS Upton, NY, reported as many as 31 incidents of flash flooding.

In Hackensack, New Jersey, roads were inundated with flood water, causing major problems for drivers. Hackensack Fire Department said it rescued over 40 occupants from vehicles in the flood water.

At least six people were rescued from vehicles trapped in floodwaters in Newark, according to police.

Images on Social Media showed the rain flooding parts of the New York City subway.

The New York subway famously flooded during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and has done since then. During Sandy, 8 subway tunnels in total were flooded by millions of gallons of water. The South Ferry station in Manhattan for example, was flooded to ceiling height.

Since then various ideas and suggestions have been put forward for keeping flood water out of the subway system, including huge inflatable plugs in the tunnels.

West Virginia

Flooding also affected wide areas of west Virgina, where a state of emergency was declared for 10 counties on Monday.

Gov. Jim Justice issued the declaration Monday afternoon for Barbour, Braxton, Gilmer, Lewis, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, Tucker, Upshur and Webster counties, according to a news release issued by his office.

According to local media, about 2 to 3 inches of rain fell in North-Central West Virginia, according to the National Weather Service. Charleston saw about 1.3 inches of rain.

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