NORTH BABYLON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Long Island was drying out and trying to clean up Thursday, after a “historic” storm that dumped a record amount of rain, swamped highways, flooded buildings and caused more than one sinkhole to open up.
Some roads were still impassable Thursday because of pooling water left behind from the storm.
MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma received 13.26 inches of rain from midnight to 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, the highest single-day rain total ever in New York state.
“The drainage systems are designed for five to eight inches of water in a 24-hour period. In this case, you had 13-plus inches of rain in a few hours,” said Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci.
Suffolk County and the towns of Islip and Brookhaven have declared states of emergency after what County Executive Steve Bellone called an “unprecedented” deluge.
Meteorologist Jack Boston called the storm a once-every-50-years event. He said it was powered by tropical moisture and thicker than usual clouds.
“It’s not just how much rain fell; it’s how fast it fell,” Boston said. “We’re talking about billions and billions of gallons of water, and it all has to go somewhere.”