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Flash floods drenched NYC neighborhoods as heavy rain rolled through city

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Thunderstorms and heavy rain brought rapid flooding to parts of Brooklyn

Rainy weather in New York Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The weird weather week continues: After a brutal heat wave that broiled New York City over the weekend (and left thousands without power), the city was drenched on Monday with a torrential downpour that brought biblical flooding to parts of the five boroughs.

According to the National Weather Service, as much as two inches of rain fell throughout the city thanks to the thunderstorms that rolled through the city, but localized flooding in some neighborhoods and along roadways caused major headaches for New Yorkers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that city agencies were responding to multiple incidents of flooding in various neighborhoods, but dramatic videos posted to Twitter and Instagram showed exactly how bad the flooding was in some parts of the city.

On Fourth Avenue near Carroll Street in Park Slope, flood waters rose high enough to submerge cars parked along the thoroughfare. City Council member Brad Lander, who represents that district, tweeted around 9:30 p.m. that the city’s Department of Environmental Protection had cleared the flood waters but that “[s]everal business & homeowners [are] mucking out basements.”

The rain also led to flash flooding in Williamsburg:

The storm also disrupted New Yorkers’ commutes, with temporary closures affecting roadways including the Long Island Expressway and the Clearview Expressway. The Port Authority also issued speed advisories for many of its bridges, including the Goethals and Outerbridge

While there are many neighborhoods on the city’s outer edges that are at risk for coastal flooding, flash flooding is a whole other beast. According to DEP, it can occur when debris gets stuck in catch basins, leaving rain with nowhere to go during intense storms; it can also happen when sewers are overwhelmed, “when the sheer volume of stormwater and wastewater entering the system fills them to capacity, leaving no space for excess water to enter,” per DEP.

Some subway stations also experienced flooding, although so far, there haven’t been any reports of people being nearly swept off a platform due to the rain.

A flash flood warning remains in effect until noon Tuesday, according to the city.