1 of 4 | A pedestrian walks through a flooded area along FDR Drive in lower Manhattan during a rain storm in New York City on Friday. New York City is in a state of emergency as torrential rain floods subways, roads and basements. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 29 (UPI) -- New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency Friday in response to heavy rains and flooding in New York City, the Hudson Valley and Long Island that has flooded subways and stranded residents.
"Ahead of this storm we deployed thousands of state personnel and I have directed all state agencies to provide all necessary resources to address this extreme weather event," Hochul said in a statement. "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."
Heavy rain and flooding disrupted transportation Friday, leading to the closure of a terminal at LaGuardia Airport and suspension of subway and rail service. As much as 5 inches of rain had fallen as of Friday morning.
According to flight tracking service FlightAware.com, LaGuardia had almost 400 flight delays because of flooding issues Friday. It said more than 300 flights were delayed at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport, as well.
Friday was the wettest day at JFK Airport since recording started in 1948, the National Weather Service reported.
The New York Post reported that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was working to restore service for rush-hour commuters late Friday after flood waters took out key tracks under the East River and in The Bronx, crippling the subway system and the Metro-North commuter railroad.
A ribbon cutting at Hostos Community College in the Bronx was canceled.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams also declared a state of emergency, urging residents to stay home or to shelter in place if they are at school or work.
"This is time for heightened alertness and extreme caution," he said during a virtual news briefing. "If you're at home, stay home. If you are at work of school, shelter in place for now. Some of our subways are flooded and it is extremely difficult to move around the city."
Hochul described the storm as a "life-threatening rainfall event."
"We want to make sure we get the subways, the trains, our communication systems, our transportation system up working because there's children who use the subways to get home from school and people need to know if they can get home from work. So, that is priority No. 1," Hochul said during a virtual news briefing. "There have been significant disruptions, without a doubt."
Heavy rains were expected to continue into Saturday morning with total rainfall of 5 to 7 inches possible, according to the National Weather Service. Rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour were expected, causing possible flash flooding. A flood watch continues into Friday evening, with coastal flood advisories extending through Saturday morning.
Hochul encouraged people to avoid venturing out in a vehicle, saying lives are lost during flooding events when vehicles are swept away.
"People really need to be taking this extremely seriously. The state is there to help and we'll get through this together as we always do," Hochul said.