New Yorkers wade through underground lakes as subway stations flood

Taking the subway? Make sure to pack a lifeboat!

Heavy rains caused titanic-level floods at several Big Apple train stations Thursday — forcing some desperate New Yorkers to wade through subterranean lakes just to get on with their commute.

Shocking video showed a woman walking into waist-deep water as she attempted to reach the platform at the 157th Street No. 1 train station in Washington Heights.

The “pour” straphanger had water up to her ankles as she descended the stairs — before she plopped into the underground pond. She continued moving, undeterred, holding a shopping bag up in the air.

One man was spotted trudging through the knee-deep water, a plastic bag on his head, as he made his way out of the flooded stop, video showed.

Meanwhile, several other commuters at the same waterlogged station wrapped themselves in black garbage bags to get through the subway pool, according to a clip, which was captioned: the “potato sack race approach.”

A car driving through a flooded street in Manhattan on July 8, 2021.
A car driving through a flooded street in Manhattan on July 8, 2021.
Jackson Clifford FitzGerald/@jac

“Yooo the 157th St station is underwater,” one person wrote on Twitter, along with video showing a deluge on the street above the train stop.

Another user tweeted: “Wow @mta flooded train, no AC, feels like a sauna, trying to get on safety so no one slips and the conductor is mad we are not getting on fast enough. What a mess. Nothings changed.”

Flooding was also reported at the 191st Street No. 1 train station and at the 125th Street station — where video showed water pouring onto the platform and onto an incoming train.

At the 149th Street – Grand Concourse station in the Bronx, torrents streamed down a staircase, turning it into a waterfall.

“Stairs looking like a water park ride right now,” wrote the Instagram account “Subway Creatures.”

Over at 34th Street Penn Station, water was seen spurting through a manhole cover on the platform, creating a geyser effect, footage showed.

The Big Apple is expected to continue getting drenched on Friday, when Tropical Storm Elsa moves through the region.

An MTA spokesperson said the agency was looking into videos of the flooding.

The New York City Transit Subways account posted on Twitter that “Crews are actively addressing flooding issues in our stations.”

“We’ve hardened stations in coastal flooding zones, but when streets above flood, water will always flow downhill,” the tweet read. “Please be safe and do not enter flooded stations while our crews work to resolve this.”

The underground inundation took place as the city was placed under a “severe thunderstorm watch” by the National Weather Service, set to last through 9 p.m.

MTA Interim Transit President Sarah Feinberg insisted that “Drains are working remarkably well.”

“NYCT crews are, as always, working hard and fast and doing great work,” Feinberg tweeted. “Working as quickly as we can to get everyone where they’re going.”

Crews were working to drain shuttered stops along the A line, from 181st Street to 207th Street, by manually pumping water on Thursday evening, Feinberg said at an 8:45 p.m. news conference. The A train was back in service in Upper Manhattan by 10:36 p.m., officials said.

The widespread flooding was due partly to the “huge amount of rain in a short amount of time,” Feinberg told reporters.

“Obviously I’ve seen the same videos you have,” Feinberg said. “None of our customers should have to go through that. Three inches of rain in two hours is going to be tough anytime, particularly in a city that all runs downhill.”

She urged New Yorkers to stay home if possible on Friday morning, when Elsa is expected to roll into town.

“If you don’t have to commute tomorrow morning, it’s a good day to stay home and try to work from home,” Feinberg said.

Leave a Comment