‘Stay home if you can’: Southern Queens residents told to move to higher ground amid tidal flooding

Flooding in Howard Beach this morning, Friday, Dec. 23. (Photo courtesy of Steve Koller)

Major flooding from Thursday night’s storm has taken over the coast in the southern Queens neighborhoods of Howard Beach, Hamilton Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways.

Residents are being asked to move to higher ground for their own safety, according the NYC Emergency Management.

“There is major tidal flooding in Howard Beach, Hamilton Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways, please move to higher ground,” NYC Emergency Management tweeted out this morning. “Also remember, all it takes is 6 inches of standing water to move a car, never walk or drive through flood waters.”
Flooding on Newport Avenue in Rockaway Park. (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Lazo)

The National Weather Service in New York has issued a Special Weather Statement for New York City for rapidly falling temperatures, gusty winds and falling wind chills. They also warned about standing water becoming black ice late this afternoon in the early evening hours. Travel is not recommended.

Early this morning, the city said that the ZIP codes affected by Friday’s storm will be 11224,11235, 11414, 11691,11692, 11693, 11694 and 11697.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. said that his office is monitoring the flooding in the Rockaways and Broad Channel.

“My office is aware of the flooding in parts of Southeast Queens and Rockaway, and I’ll be touring impacted sections of the borough today to observe the conditions for myself,” said Richards. “I also convened a number of city agencies this morning for a comprehensive briefing to discuss the storm, our response to it and learn lessons about how we can be even better prepared for the next storm.”

Steve Koller, an observer of the damage in Howard Beach this morning and a policy PhD candidate at the University of Miami studying flooding impacts, said that this morning’s water levels were the most extreme seen in New York City since Hurricane Sandy.

“I heard from some colleagues that they were expecting three feet of flooding above ground level,” Koller said. “People were definitely feeling the impacts. I’m sure basements got flooded, maybe some first floors, lots of vehicles were flooded and immobile.”

Queens Public Library has also closed locations in the surrounding areas.

This is a developing story. Check QNS.com later for updates.