Less than a month after New York City declared a climate emergency, the reality of the crisis came crashing home Monday as streets across Brooklyn and Queens were inundated with flash flooding a day after power went down in three boroughs due to a heat wave.
Commuters headed home late in the day were stymied by trains shut down due to flash flooding from rain that hit the city after a days-long heat wave that drove temperatures into the triple digits.
“This is what the climate crisis looks like,” tweeted youth-led environmental movement Sunrise Movement.
Con Ed cut power to areas in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island Sunday night after the weekend heat wave strained the energy company’s infrastructure.
On Monday evening, a rain storm that hit the area at 8pm caused flash flooding. Streets in Brooklyn were impassable as water rose to people’s waists, leading at least one Uber driver, Walid Shawon, and his customer in Brooklyn’s South Slope neighborhood to flee the vehicle from a window and swim to safety.
“My car was floating in the water,” Shawon told The New York Daily News. “We put it in neutral and it floated like a boat.”
As Twitter user @brahmsposting noted, the water that Shawon and his fare forded comes from the Superfund site Gowanus Canal, making the flooding potentially toxic.
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