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Heavy Rain Leaves Roads Flooded and Drivers Trapped, Officials Say

By  Aidan Gardiner and Trevor Kapp | May 1, 2014 8:48am | Updated on May 1, 2014 9:15am

 Two cars were trapped in a large pond of water at 71st Street and 149th Avenue after rains and tidal currents flooded the area Wednesday April 30, 2014.
Two cars were trapped in a large pond of water at 71st Street and 149th Avenue after rains and tidal currents flooded the area Wednesday April 30, 2014.
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DNAinfo/Kaie Honan

NEW YORK CITY — A flood warning for the city remained in effect Thursday morning with more rain expected after a freak storm hit parts of Queens with waist-high waters and wreaked havoc on roadways, officials said.

The National Weather Service warned that radar picked up heavy showers developing toward the south of the city and continued flooding possible along the Bronx River until about 11 a.m., meteorologists said.

A combination of heavy rains and tidal flooding brought some of the worst of the city's overnight deluges to a corner of Howard Beach, where waters reached waist levels in a 10 block radius around 80th Street and 157th Avenue, according to Nancy Silvestri, spokeswoman for the city's Office of Emergency Managment.

"The largest and ongoing issue is Howard Beach," Silvestri said Thursday morning. "The waters have largely receded by about 95 percent, but there were a lot of reports of basement flooding."

Other areas of the city experienced similar flooding including the West Side Highway, Belt Parkway and Long Island Expressway, Silvestri said.

"We experienced flooding issues in normal spots you'd typically see with heavy rainfall," she said.

The FDNY rescued several people from floodwater around the city, including one man who was trapped in his car at 31st Street and 21st Avenue in Ditmars about 11:15 p.m., a spokeswoman said. He was treated at Mount Sinai Queens, she added.

Another man was rescued from his car near Linden Boulevard and the Cross Island Parkway about 3 a.m., the FDNY said. He did not require medical attention.

The floods disrupted MTA service on the Staten Island Railroad and the Metro-North's Hudson line, according to the MTA.

The SIR was skipping stops between Hugenot and Tottenville stations due to track flooding, but buses were providing alternate service, the MTA tweeted about 4 a.m.

A mudslide in Yonkers sparked 30-minute delays in both directions for the Hudson Line, the MTA said. Northbound trains weren't stopping at Riverdale, Ludlow, Glenwood and Greystone, the MTA said.

The rainfall, which began late Tuesday night, had dropped 5.12 inches of rain in Central Park by Thursday morning, surpassing the previous record for April 30 by about 5 inches, a National Weather Service spokesman said.

The rains picked up starting about 6 p.m. Wednesday when the storm started dropping about half an inch every hour, an NWS spokesman said.

"Any one day, on average, we're looking at a few tenths of an inch. This certainly shattered that," NWS spokesman said.

"Although it's not unheard of, it's certainly anomalous."

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