Rain slows and floodwaters recede, but New Yorkers' anger grows

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Floodwaters begin to recede, but anger grows for many New Yorkers

Floodwaters begin to recede, but anger grows for many New Yorkers


NEW YORK — New Yorkers were frustrated Friday over flooded basements and damaged property.

The storm drains simply couldn't cope with the heavy rains earlier in the day.

The water has since subsided, but the flooding was so bad that one restaurant owner told CBS New York she had to swim across the street to reach her front door.

Instead, she watched the water rise on her surveillance cameras, and by the time the flooding subsided, her outdoor dining structure had been washed away.

This is just one New Yorker's story, but this storm affected everyone.

LEARN MORE: Mayor Eric Adams and Chancellor David Banks defend decision to keep NYC public schools open during torrential rains

Whether you're driving on the FDR or chasing stunts on the subway, you were almost certainly affected by the relentless downpours that hit New York City on Friday.

Commuters struggled to get to and from work, with most subway lines disrupted and Metro-North entirely suspended for hours outside Manhattan.

“There are 3,500 buses. They drive, arrive at their destination. Only a few got stuck. Overwhelmingly, they currently represent the lion’s share of our public transportation,” said Janno Lieber, MTA President and CEO.

New Yorkers were asked to stay at home, but even the house wasn't safe for many basement apartments in Brooklyn, because sewer systems backed up and flowed out of people's toilets and bathtubs..

“Laptops were destroyed, mattresses were destroyed, furniture was destroyed, not to mention all the issues with hygiene issues,” said Thomas Trevisan, a Williamsburg resident.

“The water actually comes back through the main sewer line to the basement. Instead of coming out, it comes in and gushes out like a fucking geyser,” added Kelly Hayes, owner of Gowanus Garden Restaurant.

By Friday morning, sewage filled his restaurant's basement and floodwaters outside crested at more than 3 feet, drowning his outdoor dining structure and leaving it in pieces.

“It's going to cost me $5,000 to $10,000 just to haul away the trash, so it won't even rebuild my business,” Hayes said.

Hayes said by the time she received an emergency alert from the city, it was too late.

“It’s like the flash floods are happening now and we’re already underwater,” Hayes said.

LEARN MORE: Hundreds of flights canceled and delayed after storm hits New York

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams are now criticizing Mayor Eric Adams for what they call his lack of urgency before the storm.

“If you're going to send us information the night before, you should probably prepare for a press conference early in the morning so we can let people know where we are,” Williams said.

Adams said his administration sent notifications Thursday afternoon.

“You were broadcasting this storm that was coming. You would have to be under a rock not to know that the storms are coming to the city and we continue to use social media, all forms of notification,” the mayor said.

LEARN MORE: Floods gave New Yorker a taste of freedom: a sea lion at the Central Park Zoo

After the remnants of Hurricane Ida hit our area in 2021, many hoped the worst flooding was behind us. But Friday was another day of unprecedented weather here in New York.

“We at the state and city need to move faster to create stormwater infrastructure and improve our climate response,” said Assemblywoman Emily Gallagher.

According to the town hall's tally, three people had to be rescued from basements and 15 people were rescued from their apartments on Friday. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.

As for Hayes' restaurant, she hopes to be open again next week, but said the damage will likely cost her $30,000.

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