Powerful coastal storm impacts morning commute across New York City, Tri-State

WABC logo
Monday, December 18, 2023
City residents react to storm flooding, damage
Kemberly Richardson has more on the impact of Monday's storm from Queens.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A powerful coastal storm unleashed heavy rain and potentially damaging winds across the Tri-State area with significant flooding in vulnerable coastal areas.

Bands of rain spread over the area on Sunday, but heavy rainfall with gusty winds arrived overnight and continued into Monday.

More than 39,000 customers were reported to be without power in New Jersey at one point. New York City reported just under 8,000 outages while Long Island had 5,400. Meantime, Westchester County reported more than 12,000, and Connecticut had a whopping 83,000 statewide.

Drivers became stranded when they attempted to drive through water that had flooded a local roadway in Newark. Rescue crews had to pull them from their vehicles to safety.

Eyewitness News Reporter Toni Yates reports on conditions in Newark

Toni Yates has more on the road conditions in Newark.

The mayor of Paterson, New Jersey issued a state of emergency that he said could last until Thursday. Two bridges that cross the Passaic River - the Arch Street and Temple Street Bridges - are closed to traffic. As a result, police and fire departments will be staged on both sides of the river so residents have access to emergency services.

The river is expected to crest Tuesday afternoon several feet about flood stage. The National Weather service is expecting the river to get to 10.3 feet, which is more than a foot above major flood stage.

RELATED: More on the flooding in New Jersey

New York City issued a travel advisory, urging people to limit travel and stay indoors if they can during the worst of the storm. Alternate-side parking regulations was suspended on Monday as well.

High winds prompted the temporary closure of the Verrazzano Bridge. It reopened later Monday morning, but with a ban on tractor-trailers and other large vehicles.

In Whitestone, Queens a giant tree fell damaging cars and other outdoor furniture. The homeowner says she has been asking for the tree to be removed from the '90s.

Eyewitness News Reporter Janice Yu reports from Whitestone, Queens

Janice Yu has details.

Homes in Rosedale, Queens sit on an inlet that leads to the Jamaica Bay. High tide meant big problems. In the past, residents here have been forced out of their homes because of flooding.

After living here for 37 years, resident Kathy Davanzo told Eyewitness News reporter Kemberly Richardson she's finally ready to move.

"You don't know when we will get hit again, we will get hit again, get another big one," Davanzo said.

In Brooklyn, a giant tree came down on a brownstone on Halsey Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant around 6 a.m. The tree crushed a shed and smashed through a third-floor bathroom window.

"Come out and take a look at your property, take care of it," said Vee Lewis who lives in the damaged brownstone. "I'm shaken, very shaken, I'm a cancer survivor and I'm stressed right now, very stressed."

Many school districts canceled or delayed classes because of the conditions.

Major airports remained open, however, there were many flights canceled or delayed at area airports. By midday, FlightAware reported nearly 50 flights canceled and nearly 90 delayed at New York-area airports.

7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda gives advice on what to do if your flight is canceled or delayed

7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda shares advice on what to do if your flight is impacted by weather.


Latest AccuWeather forecast

Check AccuTrack Radar

National Weather Service Advisories, Watches and Warnings

School closings and delays

The storm flooded streets, forced water rescues and turned deadly as it churned up the coast.

Power was knocked out for more than 700,000 customers in an area stretching from Virginia north through New England, including over 278,000 in Massachusetts and 263,000 in Maine, according to poweroutage.us.

An 89-year-old Hingham, Massachusetts, man was killed early Monday when high winds caused a tree to fall on a trailer, according to Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz. Robert Horky was pulled from the trailer with severe head trauma and was pronounced dead at South Shore Hospital.

Police in Windham, Maine, said part of a tree fell and killed a man who was removing debris from his roof. Police did not immediately name the man, and they encouraged residents to stay indoors.

In Georgetown, South Carolina, authorities say dozens of rescues occurred after motorists were stranded by floodwaters. The town is situated between Charleston and Myrtle Beach. The tide gauge at Charleston, South Carolina, peaked at the city's highest nontropical tide on record. The storm also dumped up to five inches of rain across Florida.

NY Governor Kathy Hochul spoke to Eyewitness News Mornings @ 10 teams about the storm's impact and cleanup in the state

Gov. Kathy Hochul joins Eyewitness News over the phone to discuss Monday's storm.

Eyewitness News Reporter Lindsay Tuchman was on the road in Road Cam 7 to show the current conditions

Lindsay Tuchman reports from Road Cam 7.


Air Quality Tracker

For weather updates wherever you go, please download the AccuWeather app.

Follow meteorologist Lee Goldberg, Sam Champion, Brittany Bell, Jeff Smith, and Dani Beckstrom on social media.


* Get the AccuWeather App

* More AccuWeather

* Follow us on YouTube

* More local news

* Sign up for free newsletters

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

Submit Weather Photos and Videos

Have weather photos or videos to share? Send to Eyewitness News using this form. Terms of use apply.