rain puddle
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

New York Under State of Emergency September 2023: Travel Alert

Airlines have issued travel waivers.

A state of emergency is in effect for all five boroughs of the city of New York, all of Long Island, and the Hudson Valley region of the state of New York due to flash flooding that has inundated those areas as a result of heavy precipitation — and how long will New York be under a state of emergency September 2023 is unknown at the time this article was written.

New York Under State of Emergency September 2023: Travel Alert

At least six inches of rain has fallen in Brooklyn alone at a rate of up to three inches of rain per hour. The flash flooding has prompted Kathy Hochul — who is the current governor of the state of New York — to declare the aforementioned official state of emergency.

According to an official press release from the office of the governor earlier today, Friday, September 29, 2023, “…the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services activated the State Emergency Operations Center to actively monitor storm conditions in real-time and support local governments’ requests for assistance. The State Office of Fire Prevention and Control has also activated its Fire Operations Center to deploy flood rescue teams to both Nassau County and Westchester County to assist with flood emergency response.”

A Flash Flood Warning was issued by the National Weather Service for most of the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, Nassau County, eastern Westchester County, and much of Fairfield County in Connecticut as rain is expected to continue to fall in those regions. A Flash Flood Watch was also issued for greater than 23 million people in all five boroughs of the city of New York, all of Long Island, and the Hudson Valley region of the state of New York. Coastal Flood Advisories are also in effect for these regions.

Meanwhile, Friday, September 29, 2023 is now preliminarily the wettest day in history during the month of September at John F. Kennedy International Airport, which has received 6.08 inches of rain since midnight.

All access to Terminal A at Fiorello LaGuardia Airport had been closed. “Please avoid the area until further notice.” Disruptions are still occurring at the airport.

Portions of the Bronx River Parkway, Sprain Brook Parkway, Saw Mill River Parkway, and other highways in the region are closed due to flooding conditions. Some service in the subway system has been disrupted; but crews of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority are in the system pumping water from the track area to restore safe, reliable service on subway lines and the Metro-North Railroad.

Posted at the official Internet web site of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is the following warning:

Service is severely disrupted across our network due to heavy rain and flooding. Please stay home if you don’t need to travel. If you must head out, use extra caution and check the service status for your line or route before you go.

a screenshot of a website
Source: Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York.

Greater than 2,000 customers in the downstate region of New York are currently without electric power due to heavy rain. Damage assessment, repair, and restoration crews from utility companies are working to minimize and repair any impacts to energy sector infrastructure; and the Department of Public Service is in direct contact with utility operations leadership and tracking utility response and restoration efforts.

Mudslides have been reported in parts of Westchester County. Also, multiple reports of water rescues and motorists stranded in flood waters in Nassau County have been received by the New York office of the National Weather Service.

Social media channels are flooded — pun intended — with reports, photographs, and videos of what is going on in the city of New York.




Flight Waivers, Delays, and Cancellations

If you are traveling to, from, or within New York over the next couple of days, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this weather system which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary. If you are driving in any of these areas, watch out for deteriorating weather conditions and traffic problems.

Here are eight airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of this tropical weather system:

Final Boarding Call

I was born and raised in Brooklyn near the coast and do not remember flooding being this bad — except on the Belt Parkway between Bay Parkway and the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge, where it seemed as though someone could spit and the highway would instantly flood.

Interestingly, the adverse conditions were not caused directly by a tropical weather system; but rather a spate of heavy downpours and unrelenting winds which occurred since last weekend from the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia.

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely; and keep the following safety tips in mind if you encounter flash flooding:

  • Never attempt to drive on a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.
  • If water begins to rise rapidly around you in your car, abandon the vehicle immediately.
  • Do not underestimate the power of fast-moving water. Two feet of fast-moving flood water will float your car, and water moving at two miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!