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By Jonathan Allen and Brendan O’Brien
A sustained round of torrential downpours after a week of mostly steady rainfall triggered flash flooding in New York on Friday, disrupting subway service in the most populous US city, inundating basements and turning some streets into small lakes.
A flash flood warning was in effect for New York until 2:30p.m. EDT, with as much as 6 inches (15cm) of rain falling in some locations, including Brooklyn, lower Manhattan and John F.Kennedy International Airport in the borough of Queens, said Zack Taylor of the National Weather Service.
Across the region, another 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8cm) could fall before the system pushed out to sea, and some locations could see even more, said Taylor, a meteorologist with the service’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
“This is time for heightened alertness and extreme caution,” he said at a morning news conference. “If you are at work or school, shelter in place for now.”
Systems producing intense rainfalls such as Friday’s have become more common in many parts of the US, including the New York City area.
Global warming has produced more extreme weather patterns in many parts of the world, according to climate scientists.
The rain capped one of New York’s wettest Septembers on record, with 13.74 inches (34.9cm) of rain falling during the month as of 11am. on Friday, and more on the way, said Dominic Ramunni, a forecaster with the weather service’s office in the city. .
“I don’t know if we’ll beat the record, but we’ll come close,” Rammuni said.