Fall nor’easter brings heavy rain, winds to NY, NJ; warnings, watches issued

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NEW YORK —  A fall nor’easter battered the tri-state area Monday night into Tuesday, bringing heavy rain and gusty winds to much of New York and New Jersey. 

Flood advisories were issued for much of New York City, Long Island, Westchester County and parts of northern New Jersey.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris and Somerset counties in New Jersey. New York City, Long Island and Westchester were under a flash flood watch. A coastal flood advisory was put in place for low-lying areas of New York City, Long Island and Westchester as well as Essex, Union and Hudson counties in New Jersey.

Full list of warnings, watches, advisories

The National Weather Service also issued a high wind advisory for Suffolk County, especially the east end of Long Island.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone issued a state of emergency and urged residents to not let their guard down as the rain subsided in the afternoon since more showers and gusty winds were expected later in the day.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy also declared states of emergency ahead of the storm.

Murphy announced a delayed opening of state agencies to allow essential workers more time to navigate their commutes in poor weather conditions. He also urged anyone who could work from home to do so.

“The current forecast suggests this system will still be packing some heavy rains and sustained winds until the early hours of [Wednesday] … rain totals of more than 4, and perhaps up to 5 inches in some areas, are still possible before all is said and done. Most of the state is already well over 1 inch, and parts of the Shore have exceeded 2 inches of rain by this morning,” Murphy said during a storm briefing Tuesday morning.

Several schools in the area announced closures for Tuesday ahead of the storm. New York City schools, however, remained open and all programs and activities will be held as scheduled, according to the Department of Education. Full list of school closures, click here.

Nor’easter timeline, full forecast: 

October 2021 had been a relatively quiet month, with very little rainfall and warm temperatures, but that changed quickly this week.

  • Monday evening: Scattered showers develop.
  • Overnight: Steadier rain develops, with heavier downpours toward daybreak.
  • Tuesday morning: Flooding, downpours, and gusty winds approaching 30 mph. Coastal flooding develops across the south shore of Long Island during the late morning hours. 
  • Tuesday afternoon: While there may be a break, expect rain to continue. It won’t be as heavy as during the morning. The winds will also kick up, gusting toward 50 mph along the east end. Coastal flooding will continue for the south shore of Long Island and develop along the Long Sound shoreline. 
  • Tuesday night: The rain will taper off late in the evening or overnight, but the winds will continue to gust. 
  • Wednesday: The sun returns, but it remains windy with gusts at 30 to 40 mph. Eventually the winds should diminish by Wednesday night. 

Power outages

After thousands of residents woke up without power, utility companies in New York and New Jersey worked throughout the morning and afternoon to restore electricity to as many customers as possible before another round of rain and wind hits the tri-state area Tuesday evening.

As of 2:30 p.m., more than 1,130 outages have been reported, with the majority found in Central New Jersey and Suffolk County on Long Island.

  • PSE&G reported about 154 customers without power Tuesday morning, with the majority of outages located in Somerset and Union counties.
  • Jersey Central Power & Light reported about 331 customers without power, with the majority in Hunterdon, Monmouth and Morris counties.
  • Con Edison reported about 392 customers without power, the majority of which were located in Westchester and Brooklyn.
  • PSEG Long Island reported about 256 outages with more than 190 customers affected in Suffolk County.

Transit and traffic

The New York City subway system was built to run through most storms, but recently a lot of fast-falling rain has brought some parts to a standstill.

MTA crews worked to clear drains and check pumps ahead of the storm’s arrival. Teams were deployed to more areas and 50 key locations, including Upper Manhattan and around 149th Street in the Bronx.

Interim MTA President Craig Cipriano told PIX11 News there were no weather-related service delays as of 7:15 a.m. except for a bus route in Staten Island that had to be rerouted due to flooded streets.

NYC Transit’s Twitter account had not reported any flooding-related service disruptions, as of 10:30 a.m.

The MTA prepared for the storm for about two days prior to its arrival, and hundreds of personnel were deployed across the five boroughs for the duration of the weather event.

Over in New Jersey, NJ Transit trains were running on or close to schedule.

On the roads, motorists should watch out for flooded roads and streets. Allow extra travel time.

The NYPD reported several lane and road closures in Brooklyn and Queens Tuesday morning. Street flooding was also reported in Hoboken and other northern New Jersey towns.

In Westchester County, northbound lanes on the Saw Mill River Parkway at Tuckahoe Road were closed due to flooding, according to Westchester County Police.

Local airports were also monitoring the storm. Travelers with scheduled flights were advised to check their airlines to see if there were any delays or cancellations.

Flooding concerns

Anxious New Yorkers have been worried about flooding.

It’s been less than two months since the remnants of Hurricane Ida produced deadly and destructive flooding. In neighborhoods such as Hollis, Queens, some residents are still recovering. 

Ida’s deadly flooding put the city and state on alert. There were 41 deaths related to Ida. The majority of fatalities in New York City were of people living in basement apartments that were inundated by flood waters.

While this nor’easter isn’t expected to be as bad, officials said they want people to pay attention to the weather, listen for alerts and stay safe.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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