Torrential rains fell across the Northeast Tuesday – more than six inches in Connecticut – as people climbed aboard rafts and riverboats, Humvees, and the bucket of a front-end loader to escape the rapidly rising water.
Across New York, transportation became all but impossible as traffic ground to a halt from the flash flooding with rescue agencies overwhelmed by rescue calls, reports the New York Times.
Sections of Routes 1 and 9 in northern New Jersey, roadways that provide a key link to the George Washington Bridge and to the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, were closed because of flooding. The northbound lanes of the Pulaski Skyway were also closed after traffic backed up from the Routes 1 and 9 shutdowns.
In the Bronx, parts of the Mosholu Parkway were flooded near Interstate 87, and a portion of the Bronx River Parkway looked like a calm shallow river by late Tuesday. Earlier in the day, flooding also blocked a segment of Riverside Drive in northern Manhattan.
Interstate 95 near Norwalk, Conn., flooded, causing lane closures and congestion. About 10 miles away, in Stamford, fire department officials reported having to make “dozens of water rescues” because of the rain and urged drivers to stay off the road.
In Stamford, students who were on a school bus that stalled out in the floods were rescued in a large white canoe, pulled through the water by a rubber-booted rescuer.
In the New Jersey town of Fairview, nearly a hundred workers in a local warehouse were trapped by the sudden flash flood and unable to get to their cars.
“The water was about four feet,” said Eddie Smith, who arrived with his front-end loader. “When I got there, people started piling into the bucket. I made about seven or eight trips. The bucket was full.”
Mr. Smith said he rescued about 45 people.