Heavy rain leads to major flashing flooding in Brooklyn

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Saturday, September 30, 2023
Brooklyn flooded by a half-foot of rain
Brooklyn became an epicenter of Friday's rainstorm as streets and subways flooded under more than a half-foot of rain. CeFaan Kim has the latest on the impact in Brooklyn.

BROOKLYN, New York (WABC) -- Brooklyn became an epicenter of Friday's rainstorm as streets and subways flooded under more than a half-foot of rain.

"It is serious. This is a dangerous life-threatening storm," New York Governor Kathy Hochul said.

During a press conference, Mayor Adams advised this is a time of "heightened alertness."

Mayor Eric Adams joins Eyewitness News to discuss how New York City is handling the citywide flooding on Friday.

"This is a dangerous weather condition and it is not over," he said. "We can possibly see eight inches of rain before the day is over."

Streets were quickly inundated as the rising rainfall left several cars submerged.

Roger Lee documented the situation in Park Slope from his balcony.

"Cars floating around, boats on wheels," Lee said. "It was insane."

The insanity spread to the buildings below the basements and ground floors became flooded.

There's even a barrier at the entrance of Dean Russo's building because flooding happens so frequently on Carroll Street.

This time, the site across the street that's being remediated for ground contamination also flooded.

"The water fills up behind the wall on their site," Dean said. "There was a lot of brown sludge - oil and gas or whatever it is."

He says that's worrisome, and for the owners of the cars that got knocked around and flooded, it's exasperating.

"Battery dead, cup holder filled with water sludge in seats,. Anyone looking for a used car?" Jamie Tan said.

Tan at least laughing about the predicamenr but everyone on the block knows that there will be insurance claims and expense and frustrations.

Johny Fernandez reports from Gowanus, Brooklyn, where flash flooding has impacted the area.

Vehicles were stranded and towed across parts of Gowanus, Coney Island, Flatbush, Windsor Terrace, and Williamsburg among others.

RELATED: State of Emergency declared in New York City

The same was also the case for major roadways, such as the Belt Parkway, Prospect Park Expressway and Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, where cars were stuck in near river-like conditions.

Friday's heavy rain brought floodwaters into many buildings, including this apartment building in Williamsburg.

On a street in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, workers were up to their knees in water as they tried to unclog a storm drain while cardboard and other debris floated by. The city said that it checked and cleared key drains, especially near subway stations, ahead of the storm. But that was little comfort to Osman Gutierrez, who was trying to pry soaked bags of trash and scraps of food from a drain near the synagogue where he works.

"The city has to do more to clean the streets," he said. "It's filthy."

As the rain briefly slowed, residents emerged from their homes to survey the damage and begin draining the water that had reached the top of many basement doors. Some people arranged milk crates and wooden boards to cross the flooded sidewalks, with water close to waist-deep in the middle of some streets.

High school student Malachi Clark stared at a flooded intersection, unsure how to proceed as he tried to get home to Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. He had tried to take a bus, then a train.

"When it stops the buses, you know it's bad," he said. Bus service was severely disrupted citywide, according to the the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

A Brooklyn school was evacuated because its boiler was smoking, possibly because water had gotten into it, Schools Chancellor David Banks said at the news briefing.

The problem was a smoking boiler due to flooding in the school's basement.

The students were moved to another school.

Mayor Adams addressed and backed up Chancellor David Banks on his decision to keep schools open.

"And as you see, the decision was the right decision. We do not have any issues, dangerous issues at our schools, our children are in the schools. They're properly being educated. And I believe the chancellor made the right call," he said.

Jessie Lawrence said she awoke to the sound of rain dripping from the ceiling of her fourth-floor apartment in Brooklyn 's Crown Heights neighborhood. She set out a bowl to catch the drips, but she could hear strange sounds coming from outside her door.

"I opened my front door, and the water was coming in thicker and louder," pouring into the hallway and flowing down the stairs, she said. The heavy rainfall had pooled atop the roof and was leaking through a skylight above the stairwell.

Friday's heavy rain has led to flooding in the basments of several buidlings including this one in Midwood, Brooklyn.


Some information from the Associated Press

RELATED: Rainfall totals around NYC, Tri-State


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