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Huge Rainstorm Floods Streets and Knocks Out Power

By  Trevor Kapp and Julie  Shapiro | September 18, 2012 11:51am | Updated on September 18, 2012 10:21pm

NEW YORK — The Big Apple felt more like the Windy City Tuesday, as strong storms deluged New York with wind and rain. 

Downpours flooded roads throughout the five boroughs, knocking out power to hundreds of people and causing heavy backups on the FDR Drive between East 125th Street and East 34th Street starting about 9 p.m. Tuesday, officials said.

Many buses were also delayed or detoured, the MTA said on its website.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory and coastal flood advisory for the five boroughs for Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Forecasters predicted winds of up to 30 miles per hour with gusts of up to 55 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service. A tornado watch that was in effect for most of the day was lifted early Tuesday evening.

Rain continued to fall throughout Tuesday and into the evening, with up to another half an inch expected overnight. Tides could rise 1 to 2 feet higher than usual, forecasters warned.

The ran was slated to taper off by Wednesday morning, with the skies clearing by midday, the National Weather Service said.

More than 2,000 Con Edison customers were without power at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, mostly in The Bronx. Con Ed hoped to restore power by Wednesday morning, according to its website.

Earlier Tuesday, Con Edison reminded customers to take safety precautions and avoid downed power lines.

And if your power goes out, Con Edison recommended that you disconnect or turn off appliances that might turn on automatically when service is restored. If too many appliances are left on during an outage and reactive at once, the electric circuits could overload, the utility said.

The Department of Buildings asked owners and contractors Tuesday morning to secure their construction sites and buildings in preparation for the gusts and downpour.

The DOB suggested builders, contractors and developers tie down and secure material and loose debris, cover electrical equipment, store loose tools, oil cans and extra fuses and secure scaffolding and sidewalk sheds.

If construction sites are not secured, the department could issue stop work orders, the DOB warned in a statement Tuesday.