Subway Commuters Wade Through Waist-Deep Waters As Heavy Rainfall Triggers Flash Floods

Subway commuters waded through waist-deep waters and stranded motorists floated through a Bronx expressway on Thursday, as heavy rainfall pummeled the New York City region.

The flash floods, which come ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa’s arrival early tomorrow, brought threatening travel conditions and, according to video shared on Twitter, impromptu jet skiing.

At 157th Street and Broadway, the storm quickly filled the station’s lower level, leading some courageous straphangers to splash their way to the 1 train through a pool of dirty water. Some donned trash bags, while others made the trek bare-legged.

“People were pacing back and forth deliberating whether they were going to brave the waters or not,” said Paulee Wheatley-Rutner, a 31-year-old who witnessed the scene. “Most didn’t, but some did.”

“It was filthy water. Completely opaque, a dark gray green with bits of rubble floating in it,” the Washington Heights resident added. “It was real disgusting.”

Flooding also shut down the Major Deegan Expressway, leaving several vehicles stuck, and forcing shutdowns in both directions. Video shared by the NYPD shows officers using a barricade truck to load up stranded motorists. The expressway has since reopened, authorities said.

At 149th Street and Grand Concourse, those waiting for the 2 and 5 trains reported intense subway waterfalls.

“We looked on the tracks and saw water, and next thing you know there’s this ‘river’ coming from the platform and stairs,” recalled William Ferrante.

Similar conditions were reported at 34th Street, and as far south as Spring Street.

The MTA said that crews were actively addressing the flooding issues.

“We’ve hardened stations in coastal flooding zones, but when streets above flood, water will always flow downhill,” the agency said in a statement. “Please be safe and do not enter flooded stations while our crews work to resolve this.

The storm also knocked down tree branches, which temporarily suspended service on the B and Q lines, according to the MTA. Those trains are now running again.

This infrastructure-drowning deluge was only a preview. According to the National Weather Service, up to three inches of rain will be dumped on New York between 2 a.m. on noon on Friday.

If you’re planning on taking out a jet ski, remember to “mind the hydrants.”

Source