Motorists rescued from flooded Major Deegan, subways turned into pools

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Friday, July 9, 2021
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Video captures a rescue in progress after severe storms caused major flooding on the Major Deegan Expressway.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Flash floods unleashed by a series of powerful thunderstorms crippled highways, streets and subways in New York City and beyond, totally shutting down the vital Major Deegan Expressway for hours and stranding motorists who had to be rescued.

Multiple roads were reported closed in places like Yonkers in Westchester County and Hackensack in New Jersey as the brunt of the storm hit during the rush hour, turning roads into rivers and subway stations into pools.

Over a dozen people had to be rescued by police officers from the Major Deegan Expressway at West 179th Street, the operation captured on video. The road has since reopened.

Severe flooding also crippled roads in Westchester County, where county police rescued motorists from submerged vehicles at the Bronx River Parkway near Palmer Road, where with the help of the Yonkers police and fire departments, persons were rescued from the inside or the top of cars. Also in New York City, flooding in the northern Manhattan neighborhood of Inwood reached above many cars' wheel wells.

Subway stations were walloped with water. At the 157th Street subway station in Washington Heights, water pooled around the entrance and inside, passengers trudged through deep water that has seeped into the system.

The airports were not spared, with delays reported across the board.

At LaGuardia, arriving flights were delayed by an average of 39 minutes, arrivals at JFK were seeing 30-minute delays, and flights headed to Newark were grounded until 6 p.m.

Not far away in the Bronx, drivers navigated the dangerous floodwaters at an intersection in Crotona Park.

Meanwhile, Josh Einiger was live in Road Cam 7 covering massive delays on the Long Island Expressway due to the storm.

In Westchester County, flooding stranded several cars along Central Avenue in Yonkers forcing many motorists to tromp through knee high water to safety.

In New Jersey, a large oak tree collapsed on to a house in Ridgewood. Crystal Cranmore spoke with the owners.

The massive tree from the neighboring yard collapsed around 3 p.m. Thursday, crashing through Georgiana's attic and her daughter's bedroom. They were the only two at home at the time and both were physically okay.

"Yes I'm upset but thank god. Everything else is replaceable," Georgiana said.

Elsewhere in New Jersey, Eyewitness News viewer Richard Wojcicki recorded golf-ball-sized hail smacking against homes in Township of Washington in Bergen County.

Roughly 30 miles south, viewers Kenneth and Nancy Scher captured hail pound their deck and backyard.

Meanwhile, the Hackensack fire department shared photos of widespread flooding on Lodi Street.

As of 10:30 p.m., 8,044 power outages were reported in New Jersey. In New York, more than 1,891 were without power.

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