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While NYC Is Paralyzed by Flooding, the Mayor Is Once Again Playing Catch Up

Even with a serious heads-up, Mayor Adams was out of sight.

10:25 AM EDT on September 29, 2023

The 7th Avenue stop in Brooklyn. (Courtesy Gráinne O’Neill)

New York City is currently flooding. A long-forecasted period of sustained rainfall ratcheted up during the morning commute, leaving roadways under water, trains disabled, and trash bags literally floating down the sidewalk. 

Say hello to your morning commute, courtesy of climate change: 

According to NYC FloodNet, eastern Brooklyn and Howard Beach (the low parts of the city) are currently experiencing moderate flooding. 

Let's take a look at some of the chaos out here on New York streets, inside schools, and on the subway:

For her part, Governor Kathy Hochul, who had warned for days that this weather event was on its way, has been informing the public through social media, and the governor hopped immediately on to New York's chosen emergency service channel, NY1, and then 880 AM, WABC, and WNBC. She's been clear about what New Yorkers should expect over the coming day. 

Eric Adams? His office forwarded a press release from the Emergency Management department at 11:08 p.m. on Thursday night, with the subject line, "FORWARDING: NYC EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ISSUES TRAVEL ADVISORY FOR FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING, SEPTEMBER 30."

The man himself attended a fundraiser in Inwood last night (which was so rudely interrupted).

On Friday morning, the mayor's schedule included attending a wake for a retired NYPD officer at 9 a.m., going on Caribbean Power Jam at 11 a.m., and other stuff that had nothing to do with the flash flooding that is paralyzing New York City.

At 10:01 a.m., after reporters (and New Yorkers) started wondering aloud, "Why isn't the fucking mayor saying anything about this crazy shit going on right now?" the Mayor's Office announced an emergency press conference at 11 a.m.

We'll be tuning into that with a lot of questions, including:

  1. Where are people who live in basement apartments supposed to go right now?
  2. How many schools are experiencing flooding?
  3. Why didn't the City do more to discourage New Yorkers from driving their cars that are now stranded all over town?
  4. Why didn't the mayor learn his lesson from the wildfire event in June, when his administration was woefully unprepared for the harmful smog? Or from the flooding last December, where the mayor refused for days to admit he was hanging out in the Virgin Islands?

Update: The mayor gave a press conference at 11:43 a.m., which we covered here.

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