Rain Pounds Tri-State, NYC Sees Record for Most in One Day

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Record rainfall has wreaked havoc across the island. Homes have flooded and there's more rain in the forecast. Katy Tur takes a look at the damage done. (Published Monday, Aug 15, 2011)

    Scattered storms Monday followed a record rainfall that soaked the tri-state, causing flooding throughout the area.

    John F. Kennedy Airport reported 7.8 inches Sunday night, the most ever recorded there in a single day. The National Weather Service said the driving rain broke the previous record of 6.3 inches, set in 1983.

    Floods Could Make For A Tough Morning Commute

    [NY] Floods Could Make For A Tough Morning Commute
    Train service was suspended at certain Long Island Rail Road stations with signal problems at some branches. (Published Sunday, Aug 14, 2011)

    Lido Beach in Nassau County got soaked the most in the tri-state, with 10.9 inches Sunday. Newark Airport saw 6.4 inches and Central Park got 5.8.

    The unsettled weather is forecast to stick around through Tuesday.

    The high waters caused trouble for the morning commute, with delays on the George Washington Bridge and I-287 in New Jersey. NJ Transit and New York City subways also had minor service disruptions.

    Two Staten Island construction workers barely escaped drowning in an elevator on Sunday.

    One of the workers, cabinetmaker Ed Tyler, of Milltown, N.J., told The Associated Press on Monday that he and colleague Wendell Amaker, of Roselle, N.J., were happy to be alive after their ordeal.

    Tyler and Amaker were using an elevator to get supplies to a basement that, unknown to them, was filling up with floodwaters.

    After they got in, the doors would not open, though they pressed buttons in vain.

    "We hit the water; we heard swishing," Tyler said. Then the water started pouring in.

    "I was freaked out — the water was almost chest-high," he said. They feared electrocution and jumped into a rubberized utility cart they had with them.

    Of their two cell phones, one was wet and one had no signal. Finally, they decided to break open a ceiling emergency hatch.

    Almost an hour after they were trapped, one cell phone suddenly caught a signal and they called 911.

    In a few minutes, fire rescuers arrived, shut off power to the elevator and hoisted the men out through the ceiling hatch with a ladder.

    "The firefighters told me to go home and take a shower, because the sewage pipes backed up and probably got mixed with the rainwater that came in," Tyler said.

    In Lido Beach, on Long Island, Addi Quinn says she suffered tens of thousands of dollars in losses when water flooded her first floor, ruining appliances, furniture and other belongings.

    "You can't put a price on it," Quinn said. "I'll save what I can and hope it doesn't happen again."

    Nearby in Long Beach, Kathy Molesphini says her $3,000 Oriental rug was soaked and ruined, with the floor covered in water and mud.

    No deaths or serious injuries were reported from the record-breaking cloudbursts, but the region wasn't out of the woods by midday Monday. Flood watches are in effect through the evening in parts of the area.

    For a full list of warnings, check here.