The New York metropolitan area was hit by flash floods and life-threatening flooding on Friday as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia hit the region, already saturated by heavy rain. All areas of New York City’s five boroughs were placed under flash flood warnings as torrential rains flooded streets and subway stations, causing massive disruptions to train and bus services.
Brooklyn was especially hard hit, where about 7 inches of rain had fallen by midday. John F. Kennedy International Airport recorded Friday as the wettest day in its history, surpassing the daily record set by Hurricane Irene in 2011.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency due to heavy rain, with precipitation rates reaching more than 2 inches per hour in some areas. New York’s subway system can only handle a maximum of 1 inch of rain per hour, and flooding can occur if it exceeds 1.5 inches, a criterion easily met on Friday.
Flood water also affected highways and parks, with closures reported in several locations, including parts of FDR Drive. Water rescues were carried out in New Jersey, and several major highways and subway stations throughout the city were affected. LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal A was closed due to flooded parking lots and ramps, and the city’s subway system faced widespread disruptions. Residents in affected areas were warned about dangerous conditions, and extreme caution was urged.