Bronx River Parkway, Metro-North lines experiencing severe flooding

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Heavy rain and severe flooding closed off the Bronx River Parkway at Nereid Avenue on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023.
Photo courtesy NYPD

A week of rain was nothing compared to what was to come for New Yorkers on Friday.

Several transit routes heavily relied on by Bronxites were suspended, including three lines of the Metro-North and the 6 train, as well as portions of multiple highways, including both directions of the Bronx River Parkway. According to the National Weather Service, the rainfall total in Fordham was two and a half inches, as of 9:30 a.m.

Late Friday morning, Mayor Eric Adams held a virtual briefing on YouTube to discuss the heavy rainfall and ongoing flooding across the five boroughs.

“I want to say to all New Yorkers, this is time for heightened alertness and extreme caution,” Adams said. “If you are home, stay home. If you are at work or school, shelter in place for now. Some of our subways are flooded and its extremely difficult to move around the city.”

“This is a time for caution, but it’s also a time for community. Check on neighbors … Check on your friends, relatives, and especially those who are most vulnerable, such as the elderly and individuals with health conditions,” Adams added.

Gov. Kathy Hochul also declared greater New York City areas under a State of Emergency.

“I am declaring a State of Emergency in New York City, the Hudson Valley and Long Island in response to the significant, dangerous rainfall that is currently impacting the region and is expected to continue for the next 20 hours,” said Hochul.

Prior to the storm, Hochul’s office deployed thousands of state personnel and directed all state agencies to provide all necessary resources to address this “extreme weather event.”

“It is critical that all New Yorkers take all necessary precautions and avoid flooded roads, which are some of the most dangerous places during flash floods,” Hochul added.

The situation in the Bronx has been dire. Currently, the Bronx River Parkway is closed in both directions at Nereid Avenue, according to the NYPD’s 47th Precinct. The parkway was also closed in both directions at Westchester Avenue, as reported by NotifyNYC, the city’s official source for emergency information and important city services.

Other portions of highways and parkways in the Bronx have also experienced flooding, including the Major Deegan Expressway, Cross Bronx Expressway, Hutchinson River Parkway and Henry Hudson Parkway.

Additionally, just before noon, an MTA spokesperson confirmed that the Metro-North’s Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines, are all out of service due to severe flooding in sections of the South Bronx.

Metro-North posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, also strongly advised that customers not travel until train service is restored.

Each of the three lines travel through Park Avenue in the southern part of the Bronx, which has seen severe flooding as a result of this rainstorm, to get to Manhattan.

According to MTA records, the Metro-North carries around 200,000 commuters on a daily basis, per the last six months, following the peak of the pandemic.

Additionally, service of the 6 train has temporarily been suspended in Bronx, due to heavy flooding at various stations.

New York City Transit recommends that commuters take the Bx4, Bx4A, Bx6, Bx6-SBS, Bx8, Bx24 buses for alternative service instead.

The Bronx Zoo also remained closed today, as a result of heavy rain and flooding.

In the midst of the severe flooding, City Councilmember Eric Dinowitz and his office sent an email blast to residents in his district, offering them inflatable flood barriers, which prevent flood water to enter through a front or garage door. Dinowitz and his office have been promoting the flood barriers for the past year.

“For those who are currently stranded at work or at school, just remember that safety is the most important thing right now,” Dinowitz said.

Dinowitz’s office, which represents the neighborhoods of Bedford Park, Kingsbridge, Riverdale, Norwood, Van Cortlandt Village, Spuyten Duyvil, Wakefield and Woodlawn, received reports about some homes and basements experiencing heavy flooding in the district.

Dinowitz is also a strong advocate of the Tibbets Brook Daylighting Project, which would eliminate 4-5 million gallons of storm water and divert it into the Harlem River. The plan would reduce flooding as well as provide additional green space.

A National Weather Service flash flood waring is currently in effect. NYC Emergency Management also issued a travel advisory until 6 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Reach Steven Goodstein at [email protected] or (718) 260-4561. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes