Flooding Remains The Big Concern As Andrea Remnants Pound Tri-State Area
Updated at 12:20 a.m., June 8, 2013
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Rain from what was once Tropical Storm Andrea continued to fall across the Tri-State Area into early Saturday morning, prompting flood concerns in areas hard hit by Hurricane Sandy.
A flash flood watch was in effect for most of the region through Saturday afternoon, CBS 2’s Elise Finch reported.
Flash flood warnings for the five boroughs of New York City, Fairfield County, Conn., and Nassau County and Suffolk County expired earlier Friday evening.
The National Weather Service had earlier said rainfall totals between 2 and 4 inches were possible with isolated amounts near 5 inches, and it turns out its predictions were on target.
Rain totals around the Tri-State varied, but it was clear Long Island was receiving the most intense parts of the intermittent storm. As of 9 p.m., 5.06 inches of had fallen in Wantagh, 5 inches in Plainview and 3.55 inches in Islip. In New York City, 2.95 inches had fallen in Midwood, and 2.58 inches in Central Park, according to the NWS.
In New Jersey, 3.14 inches were recorded in Harrison, 3.00 in Mountainside and 2.81 in Newark.
In Connecticut, 3.36 inches were recorded at Bridgeport Airport and 2.51 inches in Stamford. White Plains led the way in Westchester County with 1.85 inches, followed by Rye with 1.15.
As of 11 p.m., Finch reported an additional inch of rain was possible throughout the region during the overnight hours.
Andrea, the first named storm of the Atlantic season, lost some intensity late Thursday and by early Friday its winds were down to 45 mph. Even so, forecasters said the storm was expected to cause isolated flooding as it continued on its path up the East Coast.
In New Jersey, Hoboken and Jersey City were taking precautions after the cities experienced flooding during Sandy.
“My basement had a few feet of water during the hurricane and it’s flooded a few times since then,” said Hoboken resident Karen Hammerle.
“I’ve been in Hoboken for a while, so I’m used to it at this point,” said resident Drew Danish. “Any bad rain and you just prepare and expect it.”
Hoboken was offering discounted parking at two garages — municipal Garage B on 2nd Street between Hudson and River streets and Garage D at 215 Hudson St.
The city said parking will cost $5 for residents who live in flood-prone areas and have a valid resident parking permit or a temporary parking permit placard, and runs until noon Saturday.
For more information, click here.
Just a block from City Hall, the eatery Legal Beans was sandbagging just in case.
“We’ll see what happens, but we’re hoping for the best. I don’t want to say preparing for the worst, ’cause you really can’t prepare for the worst,” owner Chris Escadero told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.
He said he knows all too well about the worst, having just reopened two months ago following the devastation of Sandy.
“We had about 9 feet in here,” he said.
Jersey City set up barricades along flood-prone streets.
There was also a high rip current risk along the Jersey shore with surf heights of 4 to 6 feet.
As CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported later Friday, police in Rahway rushed in to help after several drivers tried to make it through feet of rain water and were just sitting at an underpass on Route 35.
“All the cars seemed to be going through it OK and I attempted it and myself and one car behind me, as we got halfway through, cars just conked out and we were stuck there,” driver Al Marino said.
Many cars went dead and filled with water, forcing people to literally ring the insides out. Marino said he waited two hours for a tow.
“Without opening the door, no water came inside, but this man behind me had about a half foot of water inside,” Marino said.
New York City’s Office of Emergency Management issued a hazardous travel advisory for late Friday through early Saturday morning. The city said it has also activated its flash flood plan to ensure a quick, effective, and coordinated response to any flash flooding that may occur.
The plan is activated when forecasters call for 1 inch of rain an hour for the duration of an hour or if the forecast predicts 2 inches or more of rain.
For more information, click here.
On Long Island, CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported some flooding in hurricane-decimated Long Beach, with vehicles forced to be towed and some roads inundated.
“It’s flooding, but it’ll subside,” one resident said.
Lindenhurst residents said they were hoping their homes on the water didn’t flood, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported. Like some people who live by the water, a resident named John said he had not yet moved back into his home after Sandy.
He told Hall that his two-story brick house had hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. and when he hears of bad weather, like a tropical storm, he just cringes.
“I hope that it’s not going to be as bad as the last one and I hope that if it does come, it passes quickly and doesn’t do any damage,” he said.
“You have to be very concerned. We’ll move our cars again. ‘Cause I moved both of our cars [last time] but one I didn’t move far enough and that’s why I have a brand new truck. So, we lost a vehicle during Sandy,” neighbor Ernie Shafer said.
Some of the homes in Lindenhurst are now elevated on stilts to prevent flooding.
In Yonkers, the Department of Public Works was handing out sand bags to people who live in low-lying areas. The department also had crews on call for the weekend, ready to deploy pumps in low-lying creeks and to clean catch basins.
Among other things, Public Works Commissioner Thomas Meier sent sweepers through flood-prone areas to minimize the flow of debris into vital storm drains.
“Other preparatory actions, getting our water pumps ready, talked to some of the community groups that live in the flood-prone areas,” he said.
Once word got out that flooding was possible, it caught the attention of Richmond Fox of Yonkers, who was heaving heavy wet sandbags into his truck for a spot along his sloping driveway that sends water towards the house.
“Gonna be intense. Gonna be intense this weekend, you know. Hopefully it won’t be too bad, but I think that we’ll deal with it. We’re Yonkers,” he told WCBS 880 reporter Paul Murnane.
Drivers were told to be careful along roadways that are prone to flooding like the Saw Mill River Parkway, which was closed in both directions near the Taconic State Parkway early Friday evening, and the Bronx River Parkway.
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