Watch: Heavy rains, flash flooding wreak havoc across New Jersey and New York
Rain fell at rates as high 5 inches per hour flooding communities across the New York Tri-State area.
NEW YORK – Cars were submerged in floodwater in northern New Jersey and New York City subway stations turned into impromptu waterfalls after heavy rain drenched the area Monday.
In the Bronx, heavy rains triggered a large sinkhole that eventually claimed two vehicles parked in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Doppler Radar estimated rainfall rates between 3-5 inches per hour as thunderstorms moved through just before 3 p.m.
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In New York City, pedestrians sloshed through streets in Washington Heights. The NWS reported that Central Park received 1.85 inches of rain, setting a new rainfall record for the day, and breaking the old record of 1.76 inches set in 2012.
Ponding on the tracks and downed tree limbs caused major delays and temporary closures of train and subway stations in New York.
Flooding rains also closed down major roads across New York City area and Bergen County, New Jersey.
"Hackensack, Lodi, Teaneck areas in New Jersey were stuck under these downpours at these rates for roughly 30 minutes," said FOX Weather Meteorologist Marissa Lautenbacher. "So, estimating that would be approximately 2 inches of rain in that short amount of time causing the flash flooding."
At New Jersey's second largest mall, heavy rain turned the parking lot of Garden State Plaza into a lake.
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Calls came in to 911 quickly about cars stuck in the flash flooding in Hackensack, New Jersey where some rainfall totals are as high as six inches.
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The police needed heavy-duty vehicles to get through the streets to rescue drivers. Those are vehicles most residents of the suburban, bedroom community of New York City don't normally see.
Water rescue teams were also called out to rescue drivers in Fair Lawn, New Jersey.
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Drivers in Lodi, New Jersey drove through the flooded streets despite "Turn around, don't drown" pleas from law enforcement.
Yonkers, New York motorists were a bit more cautious. Watch all the cars wait for the first driver to make it through the feet of water before proceeding themselves.
The storms exploded ahead of a cold front which will finally move past the New York Tri-State region by Tuesday morning. The National Weather Service issued Flash Flood Warnings for counties across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
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The FAA issued ground stops for Philadelphia, Newark, Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports as the severe storms passed overhead. The NWS clocked a wind gust of 55 mph from the Execution Rock buoy which is tropical storm force. Another gust of 69 mph wind hit the buoy a bit later.
One Fair Lawn resident snapped a photo of a car he said was floating on a road. The driver and passenger were able to escape safely.
Rain will continue through the overnight before the sun returns Tuesday to start the long drying out process.
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