Associated Press: NEW YORK — The fast-moving storm Elsa lashed New York City and New England with heavy rain and high winds Friday, flooding streets, toppling trees and hindering some rail service.
Maximum sustained winds from the storm were near 50 mph with higher gusts as it moved over Massachusetts. But the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its 2pm update that Elsa was no longer considered a tropical storm.
Elsa remained powerful enough to bring about 3.5 inches of rain to areas of Massachusetts and Rhode Island by the early afternoon, flooding streets and stranding cars. West of Boston, Framingham police said Route 9 at Route 126 was closed because of high water.
Storm conditions caused morning snags on commuter rail lines across the New York City region, with slight delays on the Harlem Line north of the city and service suspended on the Long Island Rail Road’s Oyster Bay Branch because of fallen trees.
The downpour caused a small rock slide under the main railroad track in West Haven, Connecticut, forcing trains to switch to a secondary track for a couple of hours. West Haven was also among the coastal cities dealing with significant street flooding.
“We’re waiting on the water to recede,” said Joe Soto, the city’s emergency management director. “The drainage system was just overwhelmed.”
The storm came a day after a deluge flooded some streets and subway stations in New York City.
Despite videos showing flooding in some stations Thursday, “we actually weathered the storm quite well,” interim New York City Transit president Sarah Feinberg said in an email.
Up to 6 inches of rain was possible in some areas Friday, enough to cause flash flooding.
The strongest winds were expected to stay off the coast of New England. But the storm was expected to bring heavy rain — up to 4 inches on the Maine coast — before blowing into the Bay of Fundy and Canada late Friday.
Scattered power outages were being reported along Elsa’s path Friday.
Overnight in coastal New Jersey, a 78-mph wind gust was recorded in Ludlam Bay, and a 71-mph gust was recorded in Beach Haven. Both appeared to be “associated with nearby tornadoes,” according to the National Hurricane Center.
Elsa, the earliest fifth-named storm on record, is forecast to become a post-tropical cyclone by Friday night.
- Top Feature Photo: Aaron Flaum-AP