Residents in New York City experienced a state of emergency as heavy rainfall brought upon a severe flash flood to the five boroughs. Governor Kathy Hochul urged residents who had not left their homes to stay put, and advised those who lived in basements to prepare for possible evacuation. However, the majority of New Yorkers were already out by 8am on the morning of September 29 and experienced a record- breaking day.
By early morning, individuals citywide had received multiple alerts from the National Weather Service indicating an incoming severe weather storm. Although this level of alerts is typically reserved for life- threatening rainfall events, residents were still surprised due to the extravagant amount of flooding.
Throughout the day, the city faced numerous inconveniences in their everyday routine, with the biggest being the shutdown of all subway lines. All numbered trains were out of commission, including a few lettered trains. This is in addition to the Long Island Railroad, the Metro North, and the New Jersey Transit. Attempting to get home took New Yorkers at least double the usual time,, if they could even catch a running train. Many chose to wait it out at their workplaces, restaurants, or bars, as taking a taxi or Uber was not a viable option, with prices surging to at least three times their normal rates.
According to National Weather Service statistics, the rainstorm made history as the second-wettest September in New York City history. The storm caused chaos in streets, highways, and airports. Flooding severely devastated blocks of homes in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. Furthermore, the F.D.R. Drive and the Belt Parkway were more than halfway flooded, leading to a 300% increase in traffic.
Attendance at public schools dropped to 77 percent, most schools reporting at least 4-10 students absent per class. Although all children remained safe, many had to move to the top floors of their school buildings to escape the flooding on the ground floors. New Yorkers are known for being resilient, as evidenced by pictures emerging of whirlpools, exploding subways pipes, and floating vehicles.
Many New York City residents feel they should have been better informed about the seriousness of the flash flood before the day began and believe that their elected representatives fell short. Despite this, the flash floods have ceased, and New York City experienced its first sunny day this week.
Edited by Sally (Anh) Ngo, October 11
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