(PIX11) – Clean up efforts are underway across Long Island after an intense, historic storm battered the region, flooding roadways and creating a dangerously messy commute.
By mid-morning, the rain had finally subsided and the water-logged streets and thoroughfares began to drain but it was a far different picture just hours earlier.
Dozens of cars were submerged in several inches of water along the Southern State Parkway near Exit 37 (Belmont Avenue), as seen in dramatic webcam video from the New York State Department of Transportation.
Sunrise Highway in Valley Stream had been closed in both directions for flooding, and in Nesconset, fire crews deployed boats to rescue people from cars stranded near Nichols Road and Roy Drive.
Major flash flooding was reported from Babylon to Islip and up to 495. In Islip, more than 13 inches of rain have fallen since midnight, breaking a previous record, according to the National Weather Service.
By contrast, about half an inch of rain fell in New York City.
Drivers were warned not to drive through flooded roadways, instead finding alternate routes around the water. It takes just about 6 inches of water to cause a motorist to lose control of their car and 12 inches of water to float a vehicle.
During the peak of the storm, drivers had been urged to avoid any major roadways along southern Long Island, taking the Long Island Expressway as an alternative.
Commuters taking Metro-North, New Jersey Transit or the Long Island Rail Road were warned to expect delays up to 30 minutes or more.
However, there is a silver lining to the rain clouds.
The weather should improve as the day goes on and the afternoon will usher in another stretch of beautiful weather. High temperatures will be in the low 80s, lows in the high 60s.
From Thursday into the weekend, expect partly sunny skies with temperatures in the high-70s to low-80s.