Much of the nation has seen strangely severe weather of late. Texas has suffered from continual torrential downpours, massive heat waves have baked several states, and today, massive thunderstorms have caused mass havoc in a matter of minutes across much of Long Island, New York.
Several areas of Long Island fell victim to heavy flooding after only minutes of extreme rain, causing all lines of the Long Island Rail Road to be completely shut down due to flooding on the tracks in several areas. The rain storm also began at a very inopportune moment; the morning rush hour commute. Normally slow at specific areas on all major Long Island highways, the roads this morning became a network of flooded parking lots.
A series of car accidents and flooded roadways all across Long Island resulted in closures of multiple sections of the Long Island Expressway, the Northern State Parkway, the Southern State Parkway, Sunrise Highway, and many other major roads, including major highways and expressways in Queens and Brooklyn as well.
Kennedy, La Guardia and Newark, New York’s three major airports, also reported major delays as a result of the thunderstorms, and the commuter frustration is only likely to rise as the storms continue unabated for the remainder of the day.
The weather stations have posted a flash flood warning as well as a tornado watch for Long Island, though only the flash flood warning currently remains in effect.
Yahoo! Weather has posted the warning along with additional details. The warning states that aproximately four inches of rain have already fallen, with another 2-3 inches likely during the course of the day.
Long Island residents are advised to continually check weather reports on the radio and on television to hear the current conditions and any additional warnings that may be released during the course of the day. The latest traffic conditions and road closure information, airport delays and Long Island Rail Road updates will also be reported on news radio and local radio stations.
However, LIPA, the local power authority, has reported that approximately 20,000 residents and businesses across Long Island have lost already lost power, and with the rain continuing, restoring service will likely be a slow process.
While today is reported to be the worst of the weather hitting Long Island, scattered thunderstorms and periods of light rain will likely continue to soak most of Long Island through to Sunday, resulting in slower receding of the floodwaters and unsafe driving conditions.
Commuters are warned to be extra careful during the evening commute, as many roads will still be suffering the effects of this morning’s powerful storm.