Heavy windswept rains caused major flooding in many parts of Queens Wednesday, including Jackson Heights, Jamaica, Glendale and a commercial stretch of Forest Hills.
Rains that began at approximately 12:45 p.m. Wednesday caused heavy flooding along Austin Street. The street was completely flooded approximately 45 minutes later.
Shop owners, pedestrians and drivers were careful to move the water out of their shops and not get swept up in the water rushing down Austin Street.
"All the time we have the problem because of the sewer," said one business owner. "So we gonna see what to do. This is terrible. I kill myself over here with the water. I was almost three feet of water down in the basement."
“[If] my husband is not out there and we’re not helping each other out, then my store would completely be flooded,” said business owner Ingrid Broderic.
At the height of the storms, Con Edison reported more than 3,000 outages across Queens but most of the power was quickly restored.
Viewers sent NY1 pictures and video of falling hail.
“I’ve never seen no rain like this before,” said one person in the area. “It’s unprecedented rain in this neighborhood.”
"This is more than crazy," said another. "This is disgusting. This is brown water and I have no choice but to walk through it."
The city DEP said they are looking into problems along Austin Street.
There was also flooding on the eastbound side of the Long Island Expressway, as at least a foot of water covered eastbound lanes just before the Woodhaven Boulevard exit. The flooding backed up traffic for miles Wednesday evening.
By the time NY1 got to the flooding, one-and-a-half lanes were completely covered in water. Two cars were disabled as a result of trying to drive through the water.
On 75th Street in Glendale, the basements of several homes were flooded. Four-and-a-half feet of water gushed into the garage and basement of Charles Kreiger. His hot water heater, boiler, washer and dryer and fridge may be beyond repair, while his furniture and TV are trashed.
"I thought I had the problem solved," he said. "I had a check valve. I guess the pressure pushed the valve open. We got water again after we spent about $1,500 on this rug and I would say another $1,000 putting up these walls and everything here. Now I gotta start all over again."
Despite the damage, the family said they had a small Christmas miracle in August.
Krieger prides himself on lighting up his houses for Christmas, including a train set that neighborhood kids enjoy. There was very little damage to his holiday gear. But he said it's difficult to be happy because he lost so much else.
Kreiger and his neighbors live just south of the Cooper Avenue underpass, which was shut down by several feet of water. Residents complain it happens during almost every big downpour.
The city said the pumping station there kept working but couldn't keep up with the volume of water that fell quickly. But residents blamed the city for the issue.
"It should never happen," said one resident. "The city doesn't do what it's supposed to be doing."
NY1 Viewers' Pictures Of The Storm
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