DEER PARK, N.Y. (AP) — A storm dumped an entire summer’s worth of rain on parts of Long Island, stranding drivers in roads flooded with door-handle-high water.
From Tuesday evening until Wednesday morning, Islip got more than 12 inches of rain, more than the normal total for June, July and August of 11.75 inches, said Joe Pollina of the National Weather Service. More than 5 inches of it fell in just a one-hour period, from 5 to 6 a.m. Wednesday, Pollina said.
Holbrook got nearly 11 inches.
The flooding wreaked havoc on the morning commute.
“Many roads are flooded and driving is treacherous,” Riverhead officials said in a statement. “There are numerous abandoned vehicles.”
Parts of the Southern State Parkway were closed around Baldwin and about 20 miles east in Deer Park.
By midmorning, the water subsided in Deer Park and traffic began moving again along a road surface coated with a slippery-looking film of oil, dirt and grass.
For many, though, the headaches remained. Several dozen abandoned cars were strewn along the grassy shoulder.
Juan Ortiz of Brentwood was standing on an overpass next to his disabled vehicle waiting for a friend, six hours after he became stranded.
At first, he had navigated puddles on the parkway “with no problem.” But then, “out of nowhere, I passed underneath this overpass. … I just ran into a lake” about 3 to 4 feet deep.
He said he thought, “What the hell’s goin’ on?” then got out of his car and pushed it up a ramp and onto the overpass. He saw other people in similar straits and helped out as much as he could.
“It was ridiculous,” said Ortiz, adding that he hadn’t heard warnings about flooding.
In Nesconset, fire crews with boats rescued drivers, according to WPIX.
The storm that passed over the Northeast left dumped varying amounts of rain.
New York City ranged from under an inch in Central Park to over 3 inches at Kennedy Airport.
But parts of New Jersey also got more than 7 inches of rain. Several homes were evacuated in Millville, New Jersey, because of flooding.
Baltimore got 6.3 inches of rain, the highest total since 1933 and the second-highest since measurements were first taken in 1871.