Rain puts damper on final day of holiday weekend

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Toni Yates reports from Belmar on a gloomy and hazy end to the Memorial Day long weekend

Tropical moisture from the south brought heavy rains to the Tri-State area Monday morning, causing flooding on some roadways and forcing many beach-goers to end their long Memorial Day weekend early.

Still, the hazy conditions once the rain broke weren't enough to keep some folks away from the beach.

The weather held up over the weekend to serve as the perfect kickoff to the summer season, with festivals and live music up and down the shore, but on Monday, the traffic was going in the opposite direction. And that meant a fun time for the happy stragglers, who made use of waning crowds to take a jog or walk on the boardwalk, and they probably didn't have to wait in line for pancakes or slice of pizza.

But that wasn't the case ahead of the morning commute, as an inch and a half of rain had fallen in Central Park by 6 a.m.

The eastbound Brooklyn Queens Expressway flooded at the intersection with Broadway in the Woodside section of Queens, and only one westbound lane was open. Seven cars became disabled in the eastbound lanes after some of them collided just after 4:30 a.m., at least one vehicle was towed with rear end damage.

There was also flooding on the southbound West Side Highway from the 120s down to the 50s, as well as on the Hutchinson River Parkway, the westbound Belt Parkway and the Grand Central Parkway.

During the rain, a large tree fell on a house in Forest Hills, Queens, coming to a rest on the house on 65th Avenue just before 7 a.m. No injuries were reported and the residents did not have to be evacuated, but firefighters taped off the tree.

The rain was the result of Tropical Depression Bonnie, which had maximum sustained winds early Monday are near 30 mph before decreasing in strength. The National Hurricane Center says the system's center made landfall just east of Charleston, South Carolina, on the Isle of Palms around 8:30 a.m. Sunday. Bonnie is expected to move near or along the coast of the Carolinas on Tuesday and Wednesday.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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