ISLIP, Long Island (PIX11) -- More than a foot of rain soaked a Long Island city in less than eight hours, elevating Wednesday's storm to record status.
Rainfall amounts reached 13.26 inches at Long Island MacArthur Airport between midnight and 8 a.m., according to a preliminary estimate by the National Weather Service.
That beats the previous record for 24-hour precipitation of 11.6 inches set Aug. 27 and 27, 2011, in Tannersville, N.Y., during Hurricane Irene, the agency said.
In just a few hours, the storm dumped nearly as much rain as had fallen in the entire month of October 1995 when 14.07 inches was recording for the 31-day period.
Rain pelted Long Island throughout the night, at times falling at a rate of 4 to 5 inches per hour.
"What we're seeing [on Long Island] is a once-in-5- or 10-year rainfall," PIX11 meteorologist Linda Church said, calling the system "worse than a tropical storm."
Rain finally began to subside about 9 a.m. and flash flood watches and warnings have expired.
These rainfall amounts were reported as of 9 a.m., when the rain began to taper off:
- Islip, NY: 13.10 in.
- Holbrook, NY 10.82 in.
- Ronkonkoma, NY 6.39 in.
- Bellmore, NY: 4.80 in.
- Manahawkin, NJ: 7.25 in.
- Point Pleasant, NJ: 5.90 in.
- Toms River, NJ: 4.39 in.
Laurie Martucci estimated about 3 feet of water was flooding her North Babylon property, saying her husband had to use a raft to traverse their yard.
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 was 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.
However, there is a silver lining to the rain clouds.
The weather is expected to improve as the day goes on. 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.