LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (WPIX) — A brief but intense storm overnight flooded roadways and promised a messy morning commute before the rain moves out and ushers in another stretch of beautiful weather.
Flooding was widespread but hit Long Island especially hard.
Dozens of cars were submerged in several inches of water along the Southern State Parkway near Exit 37 (Belmont Avenue), as seen in dramatic webcam video from the New York State Department of Transportation.
Sunrise Highway in Valley Stream was closed in both directions for flooding, and in Nesconset, fire crews deployed boats to rescue people from cars stranded near Nichols Road and Roy Drive.
Major flash flooding was reported from Babylon to Islip and up to 495. In Islip, some 12.21 inches of rain have fallen since midnight, according to the National Weather Service.
Treacherous conditions are expected to last at least until 9 a.m.
Drivers are warned not to drive through flooded roadways, instead finding alternate routes around the water. It takes just about 6 inches of water to cause a motorist to lose control of their vehicle.
Drivers are urged to avoid any major roadways along southern Long Island, taking the Long Island Expressway as an alternative.
Commuters taking Metro-North, New Jersey Transit or the Long Island Rail Road should expect delays up to 30 minutes or more.
However, there is a silver lining to the rain clouds.
The weather should improve as the day goes on, with most of the rain subsiding by 1 p.m. High temperatures will be in the low 80s, lows in the high 60s.
From Thursday into the weekend, expect partly sunny skies with temperatures in the high-70s to low-80s.