Heavy rain, wind disrupts travel for New
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[May 06, 2017]
By Peter Szekely
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Heavy, wind-driven
rain soaked the New York City area on Friday afternoon, causing local
flooding and an array of transportation delays across the heavily
The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings for much of New
York City and several suburban counties as a weather system that
stretched across much of the Eastern Seaboard dumped three inches of
rain on the metropolitan region in three hours.
The rain forced the closure of Manhattan's West Side Highway, a major
thoroughfare along the Hudson River, for at least 10 blocks, and caused
extensive traffic delays citywide, New York City's Office of Emergency
While the intensity of rainfall had diminished shortly before the
evening rush hour, water in flood-affected areas was expected to take
several hours to recede.
The weather service received reports of flooding across all five
boroughs of New York City, prompting some vehicle rescues, spokesman Tim
"The problem was the rain came down so heavy and so fast that the
drainage couldn't keep up," Morrin said. "Roads became quickly
Many flights in and out of New York airports experienced long delays and
there were many cancellations. Hardest hit was LaGuardia Airport, where
more than 34 percent of departing flights were delayed and 14 percent
canceled, according to FlightAware, a website that tracks air travel.
The PATH rail service that connects New Jersey to Manhattan suspended
service on two lines on Friday, citing a power problem.
Flooding forced the temporary closure of the main entrance to
Manhattan's Pennsylvania Station, according to local media. The reports
could not be immediately confirmed by Reuters.
The weather-related disruption was especially aggravating for commuters
from New Jersey and Long Island suburbs who have endured hours-long
delays in recent weeks after derailments and other incidents at Penn
Claire Jones, 19, who commutes from her home in New Jersey to New York,
said her New Jersey Transit line running in and out of Penn Station was
delayed at least six times this month.
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A New York Police officer stands in the flooded West Side Highway
after heavy rain in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., May 5,
2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
"It's difficult," Jones said. "The main thing about time transit is
that it's convenient so you know if you get on this train at this
time, you'll get where you need to go, and when that doesn't happen,
it's extremely inconvenient."
Amtrak, which owns and operates New York's Penn Station and leases
tracks and space to NJ Transit and the Long Island Railroad, is
planning to close some tracks for weeks and months at a time as it
The station, with its decaying, century-old rail tunnels extending
underneath the Hudson River, is a chokepoint on Amtrak's Northeast
Corridor, which runs from Washington to Boston.
The storm also caused inconvenience at the New York's Oculus
transportation hub in lower Manhattan, which opened only last
August. Its roof began leaking, scattering hundreds of travelers, a
Twitter-posted picture showed.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the
Oculus at the World Trade Center complex, could not immediately
confirm the leak.
(Reporting by Laila Kearney, Gina Cherelus and Jonathan Allen;
Writing by Peter Szekely; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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