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Long Island gets drenching rain, floods as Andrea impacts LI

Several cars became submerged in flood water under

Several cars became submerged in flood water under the train trestle at Merritts Road near Fulton Street in Farmingdale. An elderly driver whose car got stuck was rescued by local resident Rob Criscione, who went into the water and helped the man from his car. Criscione took that driver and two other stranded motorists to his home a few houses away where they could call relatives and get warm. (June 7, 2013) Credit: Paul Mazza

A drenching storm flooded major roads across Long Island during Friday night's commute, stranding some motorists and turning low-lying areas into temporary lakes.

The remnants of tropical storm Andrea dumped "nearly a month's worth of rain in 24 hours," said Tim Morrin, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton. As much as 5 inches of rain fell over parts of Long Island by 9:30 p.m. Friday night, with up to an inch more expected to fall by Saturday morning.

The weather service issued a flash flood warning Friday afternoon. More than 20 cars parked at the Wyandanch Long Island Rail Road station were submerged up to their roofs, meteorologist David Stark said. Elsewhere water pooled at underpasses, blocked storm drains, and on some roads. Among the worst hit was the intersection of Meadow Lane and Marbridge Road in Lawrence, where firefighters used an inflatable boat to rescue motorists from 4 feet of water.

Flooding prompted lane closures on the Long Island Expressway in Melville; on Sunrise Highway in Massapequa; and on the Northern State Parkway in Jericho, according to the state Department of Transportation. The heaviest rain fell across Nassau County.

"This was a soaker," Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said. "We had significant flooding throughout the South Shore."

Standing water stalled dozens of vehicles across Nassau County, he said. In Suffolk, Fire Rescue Commissioner Joe Williams said motorists had to be rescued at a number of locations across Huntington and Melville.

"The major problem we're having is ponding on the roads," Williams said. "People drive into it, not realizing how deep it really is."

The City of Long Beach, badly battered by superstorm Sandy last October, saw more than a foot of water on Roosevelt Avenue but gave a collective exhale Friday night: "This isn't something Long Beach can't handle," city council president Scott Mandel said. "We've gone through ten times worse."

Nassau fire control reported there were some sporadic downed power lines calls and Long Island Power Authority's website indicated scattered outages.

The storm affected traffic and travel for most of Friday, and as of Friday night Kennedy Airport was experiencing some weather-related arrival delays of up to an hour and a half, the Federal Aviation Administration said on its website. Some departures from those airports, as well as Long Island MacArthur Airport, also were being delayed, and the FAA advises travelers to check with their airlines.

The weather service issued a coastal flood advisory that was in effect for four hours Friday night.

Winds figured to be in the 10- to 15-mph range last night, the weather service said, with Morrin reporting some gusts of up to 20 to 25 mph in coastal areas.

Meteorologists said that the worst weather from any storm remnants was likely to remain offshore in the Atlantic Ocean.

Andrea made landfall at 5:40 p.m. Thursday in Dixie County, Fla. As of 11 p.m. Friday the National Hurricane Center had discontinued all tropical storm warnings. It reported the remnants of the storm were about 30 miles south of Cape May, N.J., and the system was moving northeastward at 35 mph.

Most of the rain is expected to have left the area by dawn Saturday, with lingering humidity and temperatures in the mid- to upper 70s.

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