Flooding from winter storm overwhelms several NY shore communities

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Cleanup underway after Long Island hammered by flooding
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Chantee Lans has more on the cleanup efforts underway on Long Island after a winter storm brought heavy rain and flooding.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Flooding from the winter storm prompted urgent calls for assistance in several New York coastal communities Friday morning.

The NYPD called a Level 3 mobilization in Howard Beach, Queens, to help residents and assist in traffic conditions.

Eyewitness News Reporter Johny Fernandez spoke to residents in Howard Beach about the flooding caused by the storm.

One woman told him she was trying to figure out how to get her disabled veteran son out after the home elevator was damaged.

Eyewitness News reporter Sonia Rincon talked to resident Mario Cerillo, who said cars, knocked out of their parking spaces by the flooding, were being towed all day.

"It's been a steady stream of cars, like going to the graveyard, because the salt water just ruins the mechanics of the cars," he said.

Numerous streets in the Rockaways and other parts of South Queens were inundated by tidal flooding exacerbated by the winter storm.

A pastor helped members of his congregation and their neighbors after flooding in the Rockaways filled basements with several feet of water, cutting off heat.

"Some people are going to be freezing, what do we do cause there's no heat," Rev. Evan D. Gray of Macedonia Baptist Church said.

Some residents along Beach 69th Street in Far Rockaway, a neighborhood in which many of the homes had to be rebuilt after Superstorm Sandy, said their homes were damaged.

In Arverne, Eyewitness News reporter Lionel Moise was with one resident who was pumping out his basement, which was flooded with 4 feet of water.

Video showed the impact of rising tides from Jamaica Bay, which left multiple vehicles under water.

Beach Channel Drive was closed from Beach 116th Street to Beach 124th Street. Cross Bay Boulevard was flooded between 163rd and 165th streets, and traffic lights were out.

In Freeport, Nassau County, dramatic video showed South Long Beach Avenue completely impassable.

Cars there were underwater.

Officials told Eyewitness News they received more than 100 calls across the county from motorists needing to be rescued.

And a number of people had to be evacuated from their homes, in the worst flooding the area has seen since Superstorm Sandy.

The city is opening up two service centers in Hamilton Beach and in the Rockaways, where the Red Cross will be able to provide housing services or hotels to people that need it.

Those locations are the following:

-- Howard Beach: P.S. 207 Rockwood Park 159-15 88th Street

-- Far Rockaway: Goldie Maple Academy 3-65 Beach 56th Street

The centers will be open Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition, cleaning kits and other materials or things that people need will be provided.

Flooding impacted transit in the region as well.

The LIRR's Long Beach Branch train service was suspended in both directions between Long Beach and Penn Station due to flash flooding.

Farther north, Metro North -- Hudson Line service was temporarily suspended between Poughkeepsie and Peekskill because of flooding.

And in New Jersey, NJ Transit posted a service advisory just before 9 a.m. announcing trains in and out of Hoboken Terminal were subject to up to 30-minute delays due to high water conditions.

A Flood Warning was posted for Bergen County until 9 p.m. Friday.

And in Connecticut, flooding prompted officials to close beaches and parks in Norwalk.

WATCH: Weather Or Not with Lee Goldberg: Winter Weather Outlook

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