New York City officials warned commuters to brace for disrupted travel conditions as a powerful storm was expected to batter the area with heavy winds and major flooding starting on Sunday and lasting into Monday.
The National Weather Service said a low pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico was moving toward the East Coast and could bring two to three inches of rainfall across New York City and northeastern New Jersey. Some areas could get as much as four inches of rain, the Weather Service said.
Downpours were also forecast for areas east of I-95 in Washington and Baltimore, the Weather Service said, and flood watches were issued for those areas. The Allegheny Mountains could get more than six inches of snow, which could make travel difficult, forecasters said.
The storm is forecast to produce severe thunderstorms over the eastern North Carolina and eastern Southern Carolina coasts through Monday morning, the Weather Prediction Center said. The thunderstorms could bring frequent lightning and wind gusts.
Along the coast in New York, flooding with up to two and a half feet of inundation and sustained winds of 25 to 40 miles per hour, with gusts of 55 to 60 m.p.h., could damage power lines and topple trees, the Weather Service said.
“If you have loose things outside, now is a good time to secure them, before the winds start,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a news release on Saturday. “People in low-lying and poor-drainage areas should take extra precautions.”
Officials said flooding could damage vehicles and prompt roadway closures. They encouraged commuters to take public transportation or plan for extra time traveling.
Those who live in basements were implored to move to higher ground, and all residents were advised to download the city’s emergency alert application.
The heaviest rain was forecast for the city on Sunday night. Winds were expected to be the strongest early to mid-morning on Monday, officials said, with gusts up to 60 m.p.h. sweeping through Brooklyn and Queens. Waves 12 to 16 feet high could pummel the coastline, the Weather Service said.
The National Weather Service in New York issued a coastal flood warning from 10 p.m. Sunday to 6 p.m. Monday for southern Westchester County and several communities in southern Connecticut, including New Haven.
Residents in vulnerable areas should prepare for up to three feet of flooding, the warning said.
The storm is the second in recent days to rough up the East Coast. A week ago, many of the same communities were under similar watches and warnings.
“Even though the big storm will begin to depart the Northeast Monday evening, the huge circulation of the storm will overspread the entire eastern U.S. with very blustery conditions,” the Weather Service said.