The Queens neighborhood of Broad Channel was underwater, as were parts of the Rockaway peninsula, Coney Island and waterfront neighborhoods from Lower Manhattan to Hoboken, New Jersey Friday morning, as up to three feet of storm surge enveloped the area.
Coastal flooding was expected to subside as the tide recedes by 11 a.m., the National Weather Service said.
Scattered power outages were cropping up across the region and hundreds of flights were canceled, ahead of an arctic cold front set to descend on the area by Friday.
Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency Thursday night, warning of a “mixed bag of hazards” across the state including rain, snow, strong winds, and flash freezing that threaten New York throughout the weekend.
Ferries to Staten Island and the Rockaways were suspended Friday morning due to high winds and flooding around New York City.
Flooding made some roads impassable or was causing major delays including on the FDR Drive and the Henry Hudson Parkway, according to New York City’s Office of Emergency Management.
Path and NJ Transit service was running on a 30-minute delay Friday morning as the Hoboken train terminal was temporarily submerged.
Broad Channel residents described the neighborhood entirely submerged under ocean waters, something they hadn’t seen since the roadways were raised after Hurricane Sandy.
“We were all woken up by car horns,” said Jay Gorman, 46. “Everyone got up and put up their boots and waded through the very cold water to move their cars to higher ground.”
Gorman’s home was raised at a safe level to avoid any damage, but he saw neighbors with lower lying homes trying to block the floodwaters with sandbags. Jessie Cowan, a 59-year-old Parks Department employee, said the ocean had submerged her back deck.
“It was scary and startling this morning,” she said. “Everyone was startled and disgruntled and not happy.”
High winds were expected to pick up and continue throughout the day Friday, and power outages had already cropped up throughout the region, with thousands of people already without power Friday morning, in Westchester, Eastern Queens, Long Island and Northern New Jersey.
Flight cancellations were also starting to stack up as arctic temperatures and winter storms blanket much of the United States.
More than 350 flights were canceled in and out of LaGuardia Airport, more than 100 flights were canceled in and out of JFK, and around 60 were canceled to and from Newark Airport, according to FlightAware which tracks flights across the world.
Authorities warned travelers to check their flight status before braving the wind and cold.
Temperatures were already starting to plummet by 9 a.m., and are expected to fall to the teens by 6 p.m.
Officials warn the roadways could be slick with black ice, which could make Friday’s evening commute slippery and potentially dangerous.
This is a developing story and will be updated throughout the day.