Heavy rains that have soaked a large swath of the United States over the last several days have spawned flash floods from Arizona to New England, submerging vehicles in parking lots and trapping drivers in their cars.
Over a foot of rain fell on Long Island in New York on Wednesday, forcing the closure of parts of the Long Island Expressway, Southern State Parkway, Northern State Parkway, Jericho Turnpike and other roads. Dozens of cars were seen submerged on the Southern State Parkway in Islip, Long Island, during morning rush hour.
The heavy rains turned the train station parking lot in Bay Shore, Long Island, into a lake.
Police in Suffolk County said one person died when an SUV was hit by a tractor-trailer on the Long Island Expressway near Dix Hills early Wednesday during the deluge.
According to the National Weather Service, more than 13 inches of rain was recorded in Islip overnight — over an inch more than it usually gets each summer. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Islip averages a total of 11.68 inches of rain during June, July and August.
As the storm moved north, the Massachusetts State Police warned drivers not to attempt to drive through flooded underpasses.
The same weather system produced torrential rain in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. The National Weather Service issued a "flash flood emergency" for the region, and several people had to be plucked from their cars to escape the floodwaters. Other vehicles were simply abandoned.
Update - there is indeed a flood pic.twitter.com/Zy4F0RWmJS— Ali$ha Robinson (@AlishaClaire) August 12, 2014
Baltimore had picked up 6.27 inches of rain, enough to make it "the second-rainiest August day since records began in 1871," according to USA Today. Photos on social media showed cars swamped in a parking lot at BWI airport.
Late last week, a flash flood at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, Nebraska, was caught on video by surveillance cameras. The dramatic footage — which shows a wall of water crashing through locked glass doors and pouring into a cafeteria dining room — was released Tuesday. According to KHGI, "nine feet of gushing water overwhelmed the hospital building" but did not reach patient areas. No one was hurt, and the hospital remains open.
Meanwhile in Arizona, monsoon conditions flooded roads near Phoenix, where firefighters rescued motorists from six cars stranded in floodwater. High winds even blew away a trampoline.