Torrential rains in NYC suspend all subway service, de Blasio declares state of emergency

Sep 1, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Spectators walk through flooded paths near Louis Armstrong Stadium on day three of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

The apocalyptic rainfall drenching New York City has resulted in the suspension of all subway service, according to the MTA.

The five boroughs were hammered with torrential downpours as a result of the remnants of Hurricane Ida moving through the area. The city’s now under a flash flood emergency, an unprecedented declaration from the National Weather Service for the five boroughs, through 1 a.m. Thursday morning.

“Train service is extremely limited, if not even suspended, because of heavy rainfall and flooding across the region,” MTA New York City Transit tweeted. “We strongly recommend you avoid traveling at this time, if you can.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency, saying, “We’re enduring an historic weather event tonight with record breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads.”

In an interview with WABC-TV, de Blasio said that first responders were working to remove people stuck on stalled trains. He urged residents not to use public transit, and not to go out at all, until the storm passes.

“We’ve got a very serious situation for the coming hours,” de Blasio said. “Get off the streets, get to a safe place. … The next few hours are a very tenuous situation.”

De Blasio said he’s been in contact with Gov. Kathy Hochul about the flooding conditions across the city. He stressed that the rainfall has been so intense, heavy and fast that it simply overwhelmed the city’s sewer system.

In a CNN interview, Hochul indicated that she would likely declare a state of emergency for New York City and other affected counties, pending further information and data regarding the damage from the storm.

A vehicle moves along a flooded road as safety barriers float in floodwaters in Williamsburg, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, U.S. Sept, 1, 2021, in this still image taken from video obtained from social media. Mandatory credit JAYMEE SIRE/via REUTERS

Even after the storm passes, the mayor expects the morning commute to remain difficult, as the flooding conditions will likely not be fully abated.

Power outages have not been as severe a problem in the city as the flooding. Con Edison reports more than 9,000 customers currently without power scattered throughout its coverage area in the five boroughs and Westchester County.

The MTA homepage listed that every subway line in the city, and the Staten Island Railway, was suspended as of 10:45 p.m. Sept. 1.

Throughout Wednesday evening, New York City Transit reported a litany of service disruptions due to the heavy rainfall — including flooding conditions at the Inwood-207th Street stations on the A line; excessive water on the tracks of the 2, 3 and 4 lines between Brooklyn and Manhattan; flooding on the N, R and W lines in Manhattan and Queens; and a major flooding condition at the 28th Street station on the 1/2/3 lines in Chelsea.

Buses are still running, but New Yorkers took to Twitter to show video after video of flooded-out streets — especially in Queens.

Central Park saw a record-setting 3.15 inches of rainfall in one hour Wednesday night, from 8:51 to 9:51 p.m.; that happened less than two weeks after it set an all-time record for one hour’s rainfall during Tropical Storm Henri on Aug. 21.

Ida’s remnants are expected to clear out of the city early Thursday morning.

Check with for the latest updates on service changes.

This story appears courtesy of our sister publication amNewYork.

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