Subway storm surge: Viral video shows flash flood at Court Square station in LIC that nearly sent man onto tracks

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 12.25.20 PM
Screenshot of video via Twitter/@SubwayCreatures

A straphanger recorded a freak flood at the Court Square-23rd Street station’s E train platform during Wednesday night’s thunderstorm outbreak that nearly sent a fellow commuter hurtling into an oncoming train.

The rush of water burst on July 17 through a construction wall, knocking a man to the ground and nearly washing him onto the tracks as a train was pulling up to the platform.

Posted to Twitter by Subway Creatures at 8 a.m. on Thursday, the video amassed over 13,000 views in just a few hours. According to the moderator of the Twitter account, the person who submitted the video wished to remain anonymous.

Based on the flash flood advisories issued Wednesday night, torrential rains may have caused the incident.

In a statement to QNS on Thursday afternoon, the MTA pinned the blame for the deluge solely on an area contractor “working on a residential development project.”

“We have already begun taking steps to make sure the developer and contractor are held accountable and this doesn’t happen again,” an MTA spokesperson said. “We have no reported injuries and no service impact from this incident as our trackbed drainage system was able to remove all of this unexpected water, but we regret that our customers were inconvenienced and put at risk by this contractor’s shocking lapse in best safety practices.”

The MTA claims that “a private developer building a residential tower adjacent to the subway station – as well as a new entrance and elevator for the station – allowed their construction site to become inundated with water after their contractor relocated utilities and did not have the proper pumping system in place to act as a temporary drainage system.”

As a result, the work area became inundated with water during last night’s thunderstorms, and the water eventually breached the plywood which separated the worksite from the station platform.

MTA personnel responded to the breach and determined that the “platform water condition had already cleared.” Nevertheless, they blocked off the platform temporarily as a precaution.

“Transit officials met with the contractor and secured numerous measures to address this immediately: the contractor agreed to restore proper pumping to the worksite, agreed to build additional protections around its worksite including a dam and a new wall and waterproofing, and agreed to have more personnel on site during major storm events,” the MTA spokesperson added. “NYC Transit will also have additional personnel on site to monitor this project during storm events.”

This story was updated on July 18 at 2 p.m.

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