NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Severe thunderstorms barreled through the Tri-State Area for the second day in a row Tuesday, making a mess of the roads just in time for the afternoon rush hour and keeping a threat of continuing rain through the night.
As CBS 2’s Lonnie Quinn reported, nearly the entire Tri-State Area was under a severe thunderstorm watch for much of the evening. Heavy rain had already soaked the area Monday night and again in the early afternoon hours Tuesday, and a second round of severe weather came in the evening.
By 11 p.m., Belmar, New Jersey had seen 2.17 inches of rain; Lakehurst, New Jersey 1.72 inches; Toms River, New Jersey 1.64 inches; White Plains 1.45 inches; and New York City 1.29 inches, Quinn reported.
There also were reports that Wall, New Jersey saw 4 inches of rain.
But late Tuesday night, the rain still was not over. By 2 p.m. Wednesday, New York City was expected to see 1.2 inches more of rain; Brick, New Jersey 2 more inches; and Danbury, Connecticut 3.7 more inches.
A flash flood watch remained in effect for the entire area through Wednesday afternoon.
Flash flood warnings were also issued Tuesday for New York City and parts of New Jersey, but later expired. But by the time they did end, Mother Nature had made good on her flooding threat in plenty of areas, from the roads to the subway system.
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Flooding closed all lanes on the Cross Bronx Expressway at Jerome Avenue in the Mount Eden section of the Bronx during the evening rush – causing delays of nearly two hours on the George Washington Bridge. All of the traffic on the expressway was funneled off at Jerome Avenue and then funneled on again – bottlenecking four lanes of traffic into one.
There were plenty of frustrated drivers and frayed nerves as a result of the closure, CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown reported.
One man driving in from Scranton, Pennsylvania, said he had been sitting in traffic for an hour and a half. Another man from New Jersey said he had been stuck in traffic for two hours.
Both said they had no idea what the problem was when they reached the backup.
Residual delays persisted on the George Washington Bridge as late as 11 p.m., CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported.
Meanwhile, the southbound Bronx River Parkway in White Plains was also closed due to flooding Tuesday evening.
As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, one section of the Bronx River Parkway in downtown White Plains was completely underwater at 3:20 p.m. when the storms struck. The Hutchinson River Parkway was also out at Lincoln Avenue in Mount Vernon.
Flooding also snagged the Henry Hudson Parkway at 158th Street – a spot that has had problems since the storms Monday night. CBS 2’s Carlin reported that while driving in Mobile 2 on the parkway, the speedometer only once exceeded 15 mph.
Flooding on the Henry Hudson Parkway:
The rain created an obstacle course of deep puddles, stalled cars and police roadblocks on the parkway and the West Side Highway. For some, the traffic slowdowns were the least of their worries, because motorists were stuck in their cars with high water all around.
“We didn’t realize why it was backed up until we got to the one area, an underpass, and it (the flooding) was up to the bottom of everyone’s cars,” said James Oliva, of the Upper West Side, told Carlin. “It was bad. They should not have that problem.”
Many drivers made sudden illegal U-turns to try to get out of the traffic jams, Carlin reported.
In Edgewater, New Jersey, flash flooding inundated dozens of cars along River Road. Five of them were up to the bumpers of the parking lot of a golf driving range, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.