It Rained So Much on Sunday

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Photo: iStockphoto

Anyone living in New York who went outside at basically any time on Sunday knows that it was raining a lot. At some points, it was just "really coming down." At others, it was pretty much like a monsoon, or an episode from the Bible. Maybe your train was delayed, or your power went out, or your rooftop gathering was canceled. Maybe you spent 40 minutes standing under an awning waiting for a cab to take you eight blocks because you stupidly did not bring an umbrella out with you Saturday night. Whatever it was, it was pretty much impossible to escape the deluge unscathed.

As it turns out, this weekend's storm broke an all-time record for a single day's downpour. In New York, the average amount of rain for all of August is four inches. By 9 p.m. on Sunday, 7.7 inches of water had fallen from the sky. So, in 24 hours, it rained twice as much as it usually does in an entire month.

Will this news un-ruin your shoes? Probably not. But at least your day was likely less bad than those of Wendell Amaker and Ed Tyler, a pair of construction workers who found themselves in "a stalled elevator rapidly filling with water" on Staten Island:


"We thought we were dead," said one of the rescued men, Ed Tyler, 26, of Milltown, N.J. "I literally thought I was going to die."

Tyler and Wendell Amaker, 48, of Roselle, N.J., were using the elevator to move material in a hotel being turned into senior housing. When the doors stopped opening, they rode down to the basement to see if they could get out — not knowing the basement had flooded.

"We felt it hit the water," Tyler said. "Immediately, the water started rushing in."

The water rose past their waists as they held a cell phone through a ceiling hatch to get a strong enough signal to call 911.

Firefighters eventually reached the two men after shutting off the elevator's power and opening the shaft with a universal key. Said Ladder 86's Captain James Melvin, "They were happy to see us."

But don't get too comfortable just yet: There's a flash-flood warning in effect until 9 p.m. on Monday.

New York breaks city's rainfall record with nearly eight inches soaking city [NYDN]