Authorities had to rescue at least one person from rising waters in northern New Jersey when the rains moved in shortly after lunch.
Meteorologists estimated that 1 to 2 inches of rain fell in some spots within a few hours.
In Bloomfield, N.J., residents captured pictures of cars submerged up to their tire rims and the tops of fire hydrants barely sticking above the water.
Water pooled on sidewalks and bubbled from sewers, and authorities cautioned some roads prone to flooding could be closed at least until -- possibly through -- the evening rush.
Forecasters say the storms are expected to push out by early evening. Sunny skies return Thursday with temperature in the low-to-mid 80s and much lower humidity.
The weekend looks good with mostly sunny skies Friday and Saturday amid temperatures in the low 80s. A chance for isolated storms returns Sunday.