NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Round two of wet weather settled over parts of the Tri-State Area on Thursday evening, pushing monthly rainfall totals within reach of the history books.
Titan radar indicated light to moderate showers passing through the region overnight before improving conditions were expected to move in heading into the weekend, CBS 2’s Lonnie Quinn reported.
A strong wave of low pressure from the south was combining with one from the north, giving the area moderate showers Thursday evening.
Rain, wind and thunderstorms swept across the Tri-State earlier in the day, bringing with them floods and power outages.
By mid-afternoon, though, the worst of the first round of storms had passed, Quinn said. Early models predicted those storms to be followed by a lull and then a second strong band.
With the evening’s precipitation, close to an inch was registered in Central Park for the day. The additional rainfall made this the fifth wettest June since totals started being recorded in the 1860s. Historically, the average for the entire month of June is about 4.4 inches, Quinn reported.
Nearly 9 inches of rain has fallen in Central Park this month. With more than half the month to go, the record of 10.27 inches in 2003 is easily within reach, Quinn reported.
“I’m just tired of the rain,” Upper West Side resident Christy McCullough told CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian. “We’ve had so much rain, it’s like every other day almost.”
A flood warning for Fairfield County and flood watches for Sullivan, Ulster and Dutchess counties remained in effect until Friday morning.
Earlier thunderstorms that rumbled across southern and central New Jersey brought heavy rain and lightning and left power outages in their wake.
In Lakewood, video captured a direct hit by a bolt of lightning at the Kars4Kids headquarters.
“It felt like there had been an explosion in the building because as the power went off, the lights popped,” Naomi Perlstein with Kars4Kids told CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock.
Another strike in Bayville rattled shoppers at a strip mall.
“Just exploded as if it was a stick of dynamite stuck in there. It was amazing,” said Doug Thomas.
As Murdock reported from the Mobile 2 Weather Lab in Lakewood, there were 3,269 strikes per hour as the system moved offshore. At its peak, there were more than 15,000 lightning strikes reported.
Two men were struck and injured by lightning as they were working outside in Marlboro Township, N.J. at the height of the storm Thursday.
“I saw a bolt of lightning. The bolt of lightning was pretty fierce. And when I saw that, immediately when I saw it I had a shock run through my right hand and out of my shoulder,” one lightning strike victim said.
Traffic & Transit
NJ TRANSIT is cross honoring tickets through the end of Friday to ease the commute if the storm creates problems on the roads or rails. Click here to check current traffic conditions.
Flooding, Wind & Power Outage Concerns
With the ground already saturated with water brought by the remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea, many residents in Nyack were worried about the risk of flash flooding on Thursday.
“It’s almost like a river that flows through the road,” Tracy Sherman at Gypsy Donut told WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane.
Nyack Mayor Jen White said a stream that flows into pipes under businesses at the intersection of Main and Franklin is capable of flooding within minutes during heavy rain.
On Long Island, storm weary residents were experiencing flooding yet again.
“It’s nerve-wracking to have to face that again and again,” Massapequa resident Cheri Lorenz told CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff. “If you look up and down the street, there’s many houses for sale.”
Lorenz said her street floods more than ever these days. Other residents expressed similar storm-related headaches.
“Every time it rains, your house is in danger and we’re not even talking major storms right now, it’s just rain,” Massapequa resident John Fitzpatrick told Gusoff.
In Westchester, residents lamented yet another washout of a day this month.
“Rain is great. We want rain, just not an inundation of it. We need a little bit, not so much. It’s too much already. It’s just too much,” White Plains resident Carlo Molletti told CBS 2’s Lou Young.
Some residents were concerned the heavy downpours would cause the closure of the parkways, many of which are built in the river flood plains.
“The infrastructure isn’t made for tremendous amounts of rain and we’ve been getting a lot of rain this month,” Eileen Gaston of White Plains told Young.
The wet weather hampered many outdoor plans residents were banking on. Some kids said they’re getting stir crazy not being able to go outside.
“It’s kinda getting boring staying inside and playing those board games,” Hawthorne resident Joey Corey told Young.
In Conn., Gov. Dannel Malloy was urging residents in low-lying areas to keep an eye on rivers and streams.
Larger rivers were expected to rise throughout the day Friday, and moderate flooding on some small rivers and streams was possible.
With forecasters predicting winds up to 40 miles per hour in New York City, the Department of Buildings was advising property owners and contractors to secure construction sites and buildings.
Con Edison said it was closely monitoring the weather since those gusty winds could knock branches onto power lines, causing outages.
Utilities in New Jersey were also preparing for power outages because trees are vulnerable to strong winds and unstable ground that’s been saturated by recent storms.
Thousands of customers lost power in the Garden State earlier Thursday, mainly in Atlantic and Gloucester counties.
PSE&G president Ralph LaRossa said earlier his utility was in good shape.
“Just looking at outage maps, it didn’t look like there was a lot of damage. The backside of this is going to have a lot of water,” LaRossa told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.
Officials in North Jersey spent the early part of the day monitoring the storm system and reminding residents to use caution.
Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said while she’s not anticipating major flooding, she advised home and business owners in low-lying spots to get ready.
“The one thing I’m encouraging people to do is have their own personal – what’s your parking plan,” Zimmer told Putney.
In the neighboring town of Jersey City, officials there reminded drivers to use caution and follow any safety measures put in place.
“When they see a barricade or they see the orange barrels indicating that the street is closed, please don’t move them because you’re putting yourself at risk,” Jersey City Emergency Management Director Greg Kierce said.
Kierce added moving barricades puts first responders at risk. He said there were a number of cases in last Friday’s storm of drivers getting stuck after going around barricades and onto closed roads.
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