New York's record-breaking rainfall shocks local Israelis

More than of foot of rainfall makes September the second wettest in the city's history, with no less than 28 water rescues in Long Island and the Hudson Valley on the outskirts of the city

During his recent visit to Israel, New York City Mayor Eric Adams repeated his favorite mantra about his city being the "Tel Aviv of America." What unites the two, he said, is the love of life shared by the residents, who the day after traumatic events return to celebrate in the streets as if there was no yesterday, and no tomorrow.
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But over the weekend something quite extraordinary occurred across the ocean: a new record-breaking rainfall turned New York City streets into rivers, submerged the subway system, transformed the airport into a small lake, and gridlocked drivers on the roads. Among the many caught up in the storm were numerous Israelis residing in the city.
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New York streets were flooded
(Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar)
Danielle Druck, 41, originally from Tel Aviv and now residing in Brooklyn, had to leave work in the middle of the day on Friday to pick up her daughter from the completely flooded daycare. Less than a day later, they are sitting on the patio of a café in the Lower East Side, enjoying ice cream and soaking up some sunshine. "It was traumatic, but it's over," she says. When asked if she's worried about the next time, she replied: "I was more worried in Tel Aviv."
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A school bus is submerged in New York City
(Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar)
During a press conference on Sunday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul commended residents for heeding official warnings and staying at home. "I want to emphasize how serious this event was," she said. "Climate changes have turned such storms into the new norm."
A state of emergency was declared across the city and, while there were no casualties, emergency teams conducted 28 water rescues in Long Island and the Hudson Valley on the outskirts of the city.
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Water-logged streets of new York City
(Photo: Ed Jones/ AFP)
On the other side of Manhattan, a few dozen blocks north of Danielle and her daughter, lives Eyal, who works in the tech industry. "Honestly, I didn't feel much. I was working from home, and there was a constant drizzle outside my window, but that was it, nothing more. It was only later when I saw the footage from LaGuardia Airport on TV that I was in complete shock. What's going on, is this New York or Bangladesh? I thought I was living in the most advanced city in the world; how were they not prepared for this?" he wondered.
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New York City street resembles a river
(Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar)
According to statistics from the municipal weather service, Friday's rainfall turned the entire month of September into the second wettest in the history of New York City. Nearly 356 mm of rain, or more than a foot, fell during the month, the largest amount since September 1882 when the city received 431 mm of rainfall. According to Hochul, the amount of rain that fell on the city and the surrounding area resembled that of Hurricane Ida in 2021 when about 46 residents of the city and its suburbs lost their lives. "The fact that this time there weren't hurricane-strength winds is a blessing," she said.
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