Fay Moves Out Of Tri-State After Bringing Flooding, Gusty Winds As Tropical Storm

WCBS 880 Newsroom
July 11, 2020 - 10:25 am
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Tropical Storm Fay rolled through the Tri-State area Friday, bringing gusty winds and heavy rainfall to New York City and the surrounding areas before weakening and moving out of the region Saturday.

The National Hurricane Center confirmed the storm made landfall near Atlantic City, New Jersey just before 5 p.m. on Friday after forming off the coast of North Carolina on Thursday afternoon.

The storm was downgraded twice Saturday into a post-tropical cyclone and was about 30 miles south of Albany and had maximum sustained winds near 35 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in its 5 a.m. advisory. The forecasters said the advisory would be its last for the system that was expected to continue moving north Saturday.

Forecasters again decreased expected rain totals from Fay. The post-tropical low was expected to produce 1 to 2 inches of rain, with flash flooding possible in some areas.

The forecast track put the system moving into western New England and then southeastern Canada later Saturday and into Sunday, forecasters said. No coastal watches or warnings were in effect for the system.

The storm him New York City on Friday morning with heavy rain and strong winds, which continued throughout the day. There were reports of flooding and downed trees in a number of neighborhoods.

At around 4:30 p.m., about 2 inches of rain had fallen in Central Park.

“I think the impact on the city will be limited, but we take it seriously," Mayor Bill de Blasio said early Friday. "Expect heavy rain today lasting into early tomorrow, we expect some pretty heavy winds and we need people to be ready for that, and some flash flooding in certain parts of the city. So look be ready for it and make adjustments to your plans."

New York City and much of northeast New Jersey was placed under a Flash Flood Warning until 5:30 p.m., when the heaviest rainfall moved out of our area.

Fortunately, there was no risk of the storm developing into a hurricane.

"If it was over warmer waters I'd be afraid that this would be strengthening into a hurricane, but fortunately it's moving up into 70-75 degree ocean water temperatures which would not really allow it to get much stronger," WCBS 880’s chief meteorologist Craig Allen said.

The National Hurricane Center also confirmed the storm was weakening as it moved inland.

Though the damage was minimal in New York City throughout the storm, there were reports of flooding in some subway stations.

One Twitter user posted video showing water cascading into the Court Square subway station in Queens at around 3 p.m.

The MTA said earlier in the day that crews would be out working to inspect track pumps and drains at flood prone locations while bus depots in possible flooding areas will also pay special attention for flash flooding. 

New York City Transit chief Frank Jezycki did note there was some concern about flooding at vulnerable subway stations if rainfall becomes too heavy. 

“We have a comprehensive agency-wide plan in place to protect the system and ensure the safety of all employees and customers,” MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye said in a statement.

Meanwhile, multiple locations on the Jersey Shore reported street flooding from the morning rainfall with parts of Rout 35 and Route 66 closed because of flooding. 

At least one rescue was performed in Hackensack when a vehicle became stranded by flood waters. The Hackensack Fire Department posted videos of the rescue to their Twitter page. 

Gov. Phil Murphy addressed the storm during his briefing, saying residents should use this time to have some "storm-induced social distancing."

"There is already significant flooding and we expect more of it in low lying areas and areas with poor drainage along the shore. I’ve seen images of cars floating right now in South Jersey," the governor said. 

Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden also said power outages were occurring throughout the area.

“We had some flooding, you know, as a result of high tide the which is around 12:40 in combination with that heavy, heavy rain that was coming down that causes our back bays to back up from the inlets and causes some road flooding, particularly in the Neptune, Neptune City area,” Golden told WCBS 880’s Lynda Lopez. 

He notes that they are weathering the storm for now, but there has only been spotty flooding.

Golden says crews were out to clear any drain clogs that could be causing streets to flood and notes he was happy to see there weren’t many people on the roads during the storm.

“We traveled the county through really the height of the rain, before the wind, and traffic was light. It wasn't around rush hour and things are okay,” he said.

President Donald Trump also said the storm was being monitored and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency was poised to help if needed.

"We're fully prepared. FEMA's ready in case it's bad. Shouldn't be too bad, but you never know," Trump told reporters while departing the White House for Florida. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday directed state agencies to deploy response resources across the state.

"With widespread thunderstorms expected across the state and heavy rain and flash flooding expected to hit New York City and Long Island in the coming days, I am urging all New Yorkers to stay alert and be careful during these potentially severe weather conditions," Gov. Cuomo said. "I am deploying state personnel and resources to communities across the state to ensure they have the support they need to respond to anything Mother Nature may throw our way."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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