A historic storm system flooded cars, turned parking lots into lakes and smashed records on New York's Long Island, where one town got more than a foot of rain in just six hours on Wednesday. Flash-flood watches were in effect across New England as the dousing chugged east. The National Weather Service described the Long Island flooding as dangerous and life-threatening. The town of Islip, which had never recorded more than 7 inches of rain in a single day, reported almost 13 inches. The pictures looked like something out of a hurricane. The weather resulted in at least one casualty in New York, authorities said, when a motorist swerved and hit a tractor-trailer and guard rail on the Long Island Expressway. The vehicle burst into flames upon impact, authorities said.
Long Island was only the latest part of the country to be deluged. The body of a 100-year-old woman was found in the flooded basement of a house outside Detroit, which got more than 6 inches of rain on Monday — the most in 89 years, according to the mayor. There was a flash flood emergency in Baltimore, where more than 8 inches of rain fell southeast of the city and where authorities had to close a tunnel on Tuesday, according to NBC affiliate WBAL. In the Southwest, 16 people had to be rescued from street flooding in Phoenix, according to NBC affiliate KPNX. And over the weekend in Nebraska, heavy rain overwhelmed the storm-water system in Kearney, leading to flash floods that swept through a hospital cafeteria.
— Erin McClam
First published August 13 2014, 6:37 AM