Storms with flooding cause traffic mess

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Carolina Leid reports from Washington Heights. (WABC)

Severe thunderstorm warnings and flash flood watches were in effect for a second straight day as strong storms rolled into the area Tuesday, battering parts of the Tri-State for hours.

The warnings and watches covered parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, just one day after soaking rains doused parts of all three states.

The surge of water persisted through the evening, with substantial rainfall pounding the area and causing issues on the roads and rails.

Police did their best to keep traffic moving around a massive detour on the Cross Bronx Expressway.

The culprit was flooding under the Jerome Avenue overpass, which shut down that stretch of the highway approach to the George Washington Bridge smack dab in the middle of the evening rush.

It created two and a half hour inbound delays on the upper level and 30 minute delays on the lower. One driver said it took two hours to go two miles. The closures started around 4 p.m. and continued for nearly four hours.

All lanes reopened around 8 p.m., but the damage was done with residual delays that continued for hours.

Just two weeks ago, the same spot flooded. The State Department of Transportation says there is a pavement project underway there, and they're trying to figure out if that's what's causing this.

Drivers say whatever it is, it cost them precious time they'll never get back.

The Bronx River Parkway was closed in both directions near the county center in White Plains due to flooding, and sporadic power outages were reported in New York and New Jersey.

Conditions improved at the area's three major airports after delays of up to five hours were reported.
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