Clean-up continues after flooding, mudslide in New York, N.J.

Josh Einiger live in Howard Beach (WABC)
May 1, 2014 8:44:36 PM PDT
The heavy rain that fell across swaths of New Jersey and New York Wednesday has tapered off, but it left many areas dealing with flooding.

Rainfall totals of five and a half inches were reported at LaGuardia Airport and five inches in Central Park, as flood warnings and advisories remain in effect throughout the Tri-State area.

The rain caused flooding and closures on many area roadways, including the West Side Side Highway, the FDR Drive and Routes 3 and 17 in New Jersey. In Westchester, stretches were closed on the Hutchinson River Parkway, the Bronx River Parkway, and the Cross County Parkway. Some cars became stuck in water and had to be towed out.


Rail commuters were affected Thursday by a mudslide on Warburton Avenue in Yonkers that sent a portion of a retaining wall sliding down an embankment onto the Metro-North tracks, closing three of the four tracks.

On Friday, on Metro-North's Hudson Line, inbound local trains coming from Riverdale, Ludlow, Glenwood and Greystone stations, will arrive on the regular inbound (to New York) platform. Outbound customers at these stations must enter/exit from head car of the train and use bridgeplates to access the station platform.

In the Lindenwood section of Howard Beach, Queens, dozens of basements were flooded due to a combination of the heavy rains and sewer problems.

Some first-floor apartments also flooded as residents pumped out their homes. About 10 blocks and 100 homes were affected.

Residents believe sludge and debris left behind by Superstorm Sandy may still be clogging local drains.

On Thursday, Dominic Fasano was wringing out his nest egg -- his retirement house in Lindenwood. His life was reduced to a waterlogged heap of trash on the sidewalk. "Everything was destroyed," he said.

"They were supposed to fix this sewer a while ago. It's something where it could have been prevented," he said.

Water rushed in during last night's deluge in the community, where residents said for decades had never flooded. But the city sewers have backed up more than once, since Hurricane Sandy.

Department of Environmental Protection work crews continued to pump out the neighborhood Thursday night. The department hasn't had widespread complaints here, according to its director, until now but is trying to find the source of the problem.

In the meantime, the Red Cross is passing out mops and cleaning supplies in Lindenwood to assist with the clean-up.

On Long Island, Sunrise Highway was closed in both directions for over three hours overnight, because of flooding under the Great Neck Road Bridge in Copiague.

Forecasters say major flooding is possible along the Millstone River in Hillsborough and the Raritan River in Bound Brook. Both are well above flood stage.

There were localized evacuations in Manville, where much of Main Street was under water. School was canceled.

New Jersey Transit is cross-honoring bus and rail tickets systemwide Thursday. Montclair-Boonton Line service is suspended between Montclair State University and Denville due to track damage caused by the weather.

Residents in low areas around Yonkers collected sandbags, worried that the Saw Mill River might spill over its banks.

In Millburn New Jersey, police said John F. Kennedy Parkway northbound is shut down from the mall at Route 24 to South Orange Avenue.

Water started backing up early on the roads in Northern New Jersey.

Robbs Barbota was stranded when his car got stuck in the water Wednesday evening. "Black smoke was coming from the tail pipe," Barbota said. Barbota said he thought, "I'm too young to die. Please someone help me."

He was in the car with his parents trying to get home.

Enoch Santos was driving just two blocks from his home when the water got very deep. He drove through anyway and ended up stuck. " I said, 'let me give it a try ? me and my mom just wanted to get home."

Water rose all over Newark Wednesday night, too. Earl Person waded through the flood on foot to get home from work. "It is horrific ... up to my cell phone," he said.