It was not at all the calm before the storm in New York. The large city of the American east was affected Thursday by important and spectacular floods while tropical storm Elsa, and the numerous precipitations which accompany it, arrives only this Friday on the spot.
Several metro stations were flooded and major arteries cut. Between 5 cm and 10 cm of water fell during a series of thunderstorms the city and its region, said the National Weather Service (NWS), the American equivalent of Météo France, “causing considerable flash flooding in some places”. The organization had previously warned against the situation.
Subway riders uploaded images of some particularly impressive flooded stations at the 157th Street station north of Manhattan. People were waist-deep in water, somehow crossing a dark pool to get to the docks.
“Lines 1 and A have really taken a hit, with a lot of flooding at stations,” said Sarah Feinberg, boss of MTA, New York’s public transport authority.
Some major roads, especially in the Bronx, have been temporarily closed, disrupting traffic when leaving the office. New York police came to the aid of motorists stranded by the waters.
A lighter scene occurred in the Bronx neighborhood. One person took advantage of the situation to use a jet ski.
For this Friday, the NWS warned that new flooding is possible with the arrival of heavy rains brought by storm Elsa, from Florida.
Despite work undertaken to fortify the city in the face of flooding since Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 (which killed more than 40 people and paralyzed the American economic capital for days), New York, a city surrounded by water, remains very vulnerable to flooding. Their frequency must increase with climate change.
Several officials, including Eric Adams, president of the Brooklyn neighborhood and big favorite for the municipal election in November since he won the Democratic primary this week, called Thursday evening for urgent investments to fortify infrastructure. “Extreme weather episodes like this are not going to go away,” warned one of her primary opponents, Kathryn Garcia, who oversaw the water pumping after Sandy. “We have to invest in strategies to protect the city. “