BRONXVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Tri-State residents are cleaning up after Tuesday’s downpours caused dangerous flooding, and more rain is on its way.
More than five inches fell in places, leaving some people stranded.
In Bronxville, Westchester County, the basement of a building that houses elementary, middle and high school students flooded Tuesday, forcing everyone to evacuate. Classes were canceled Wednesday and sandbags could be seen blocking the doors.
The Bronx River overflowed into nearby businesses, including Merit Autobody.
“I would say three feet high over here, and across the street up to our waist,” worker Paul Dibona told CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge. “It’s going to take us a couple days to clean up. Hopefully, we didn’t lose too much equipment.”
One man parked his car near the shop and came back to find it unable to start – bad news on what should have been a special day.
“I feel not very happy. It’s my 71st birthday,” he said. “So I got a nice gift.”
Large pools of water covered parts of the Hutchinson River Parkway, shutting it down in both directions and forcing drivers to divert.
“I can’t believe it… Where will I end up if I go down this way?” one driver said.
“People trying to get into New Rochelle, or get into Mount Vernon, or get into Pelham – takes forever, takes forever,” said driver Mick Scott.
Students on board a school bus couldn’t believe how badly Pine Brooklyn Boulevard in New Rochelle was flooded.
In Port Jefferson on Long Island, rescue teams saved dozens of people stranded by floodwaters at multiple restaurants near Main Street. Firefighters loaded people onto rescue vehicles to return them to their cars.
“Inside, we had about 30 people having dinner, finishing their dinner, and the water kind of surrounded them, and everyone kind of jumped up,” restaurant owner David Tunney said.
Theatre Three on Main Street also sustained extensive damage when the water left behind debris and mud.
In Fairview, New Jersey, more than 100 people were rescued from an industrial park as buildings began to take on water. Employees soon realized they were trapped.
“The river is over the limit, so there’s nothing we can do, just pray for the fire department and get out of there as soon as possible,” Jairo Castano said.
Firefighters loaded employees by the bucket-full onto construction equipment. High-water rescue vehicles were also brought in, taking people to drier ground on front-end loaders.
“The flooding happens often, but not to this extent. We’ve never had to rescue people from the building before,” said Battalion Chief Vincent Bellucci.
Cellphone video captured just how dangerous things got – one car without a driver behind the wheel just floated away.
In Bogota, a military-style Humvee was called in to make a fast save. A driver with a passenger in the backseat had to be rescued as the car began to float.
“Water just leaked right here and it just kept going in, and the officer got her just like two minutes before she completely went under,” Ronnie Sanchez said.
Other drivers in Bayonne said there was no time to react before they were surrounded.
“I was driving down the street, water was coming up out of the manholes,” said one man.
The rain also brought down part of a roof in Astoria, Queens. Sources told CBS2 water had pooled on top of the vacant building on 25th Avenue.
While the floodwaters have receded, more rain is expected Wednesday night. The ground is so saturated, just a little more water could cause even bigger problems.