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West Side Highway Reopens After Flood Just in Time for Soggy Commute

By Ben Fractenberg | May 5, 2017 2:07pm | Updated on May 5, 2017 5:08pm
 Part of the West Side Highway was flooded after torrential rain hit the city Friday, May 5, 2017.
Part of the West Side Highway was flooded after torrential rain hit the city Friday, May 5, 2017.
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DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp

MIDTOWN — The city experienced transit delays and closures during the Friday evening commute after heavy rain flooded major streets and transit centers, officials said.

New Yorkers had been advised to stay indoors earlier in the day while a flood watch remained in effect until 4 p.m. Rain poured into areas like Penn Station and flooded streets along the West Side Highway, causing authorities to temporarily shut down the highway in both directions between 24th and 34th streets — where it was submerged under three feet of water — according to NJ Transit and social media posts.

Commuters were briefly advised not to use a main entrance to Penn at 32nd and Seventh Avenue because of flooding. The entrance reopened by 3 p.m., but the entrance to tracks seven and eight from the NJ Transit concourse was expected to remain closed through the evening due to residual water, the agency said. 

Customers could access the tracks via the Eighth Avenue concourse, according to NJ Transit.

Riders could check their website for service updates

The West Side Highway reopened in both directions by 4:40 p.m., officials said. 

There were also service disruptions on the N, Q, R and W lines after water flooded into the 59th Street-Lexington Avenue station, according to the MTA. 

Service resumed by 4:30 p.m. with delays. 

Parts of the west side of Manhattan were briefly submerged under murky water during the afternoon.

The rains also prompted some schools to dismiss slightly early, including P.S. 199 on the Upper West Side, which let out early "due to the weather conditions on the schoolyard." The Department of Education said there was no official change in dismissal on Friday citywide.

The Staten Island Railway was disrupted because of flooding, with no service between Tottenville and Huguenot in both directions, according to the MTA.