Historic flooding in NYC sparks state of emergency, travel ban

The National Weather Service recorded 3.15 inches of rain in New York's Central Park in one hour, believed to be a new record

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Thursday, September 2, 2021
7 killed in historic NYC flooding
Derick Waller reports on the deaths of at least 7 people in the flooding in New York City.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Record rainfall produced immense flooding across the 5 boroughs leaving streets under water, drivers stranded and subways shut down.

Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency in New York City due to the historic weather event bringing brutal flooding and dangerous conditions to the roads.

Indeed, the flooding was so bad and the emergency response so great that a travel ban was issued until 5 a.m. on all nonemergency vehicles on city streets and highways.

"Please stay off the streets tonight and let our first responders and emergency services get their work done," he tweeted. "If you're thinking of going outside, don't. Stay off the subways. Stay off the roads. Don't drive into these heavy waters."

On Eyewitness News at 11, de Blasio said the five boroughs were facing a serious situation for the next few hours.

He said that first responders are getting people off subway trains that are stuck now, and that problems are likely to linger into Thursday morning.

The MTA suspended subway service and many motorists had to be rescued after driving into flooded roads.

At least a dozen vehicles were under water on Bronx River Parkway.

Rain made its way on to the indoor court at the tennis center during the U.S. Open. The roof was closed but the wind-swept rain still made it inside.

As fans left the tennis center, they had to make their way through knee-deep floodwaters.

And at Yankee Stadium, the outfield was pictured completely under water. Fortunately the Yankees were playing in California during the severe weather.

Central Park observed 3.15 inches of rain in one hour, from 8:51 pm to 9:51 pm. That would make it the wettest hour in New York City record-keeping, dating back to 1870. It smashed a record set just last month, on the night of Aug. 22, when between 10 and 11 p.m., Central Park saw 1.94 inches.

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