Queens Flooding and N.J. Lightning Strike as Showers and Thunderstorms Roll Through Region

Though the storms should have moved out of the area by 5 p.m., flooding and other damage could snarl the evening commute

By Marc Santia
|  Wednesday, Aug 1, 2012  |  Updated 7:27 PM EDT
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Rainwater flooded homes and cars in Fresh Meadows, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills and other parts of Queens Wednesday. Now residents are facing an overwhelming task of cleaning up. Marc Santia reports.

NBC 4 New York

Rainwater flooded homes and cars in Fresh Meadows, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills and other parts of Queens Wednesday. Now residents are facing an overwhelming task of cleaning up. Marc Santia reports.

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A deluge of showers and thunderstorms that hit the area Wednesday caused flash floods to drench parts of Queens, and a lightning strike at a Jersey Shore beach sent four people -- including a pregnant woman -- to the hospital.

In Fresh Meadows, the flash flood carried away trash cans, filled cars with water and seeped into homes.

"I woke up and saw a wave coming," said Jonathan, a Queens resident who did not want to give his last name. He was sleeping when the sound of rushing water woke him. "All of a sudden I hear the door slamming and a wave of water comes in and in minutes everything just went up five feet."

Meanwhile, in Wildwood, N.J., a lightning strike on the beach sent four people to the hospital, including a pregnant woman.

The four victims were all part of the same group, the Wildwood Fire Department said. At least one of them was holding a beach umbrella when lightning struck. They were taken to the hospital mostly as a precautionary measure, fire officials said.

Though the storms should have moved out of the area by 5 p.m., flooding and other damage could snarl the evening commute.

Area airports were experiencing delays Wednesday afternoon, with holdups averaging an hour and 45 minutes at Kennedy, an hour at Newark and an hour and 19 minutes at LaGuardia.

The threat of thunderstorms decreases Thursday through the weekend, but the high humidity will persist and thunderstorms may pop up as the week ends. The weekend will be hazy, hot and humid, with temperatures in the mid to upper 90s. 
 
The heat sticks around Monday, but relief should finally arrive on Tuesday, with cooler temps in the mid-80s and much less humidity.

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