The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for southeastern Nassau County early Thursday morning as thunderstorms dropped heavy rains across the affected area, including Bellmore and Merrick.
According to the alert, the storm's impact would cause flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses, as well as other drainage and low lying areas.
Jaime Sumersille, who has lived on Linden Street in Bellmore for the past 16 years, said her block is particularly vulnerable to flooding because of its proximity to Newbridge Creek. The northern part of the creek, which is part of the Town of Hempstead's drainage system, is prone to flooding after heavy rains, residents say.
A town project to install a concrete box culvert in the creek was completed in 2002, but Sumersille claims it was halted on the southern side of Linden, resulting in years of flooding. She has since advocated for the project's full completion.
"We have reached out to the town, the highway department, attended council meetings, but aside from clearing the external drain . . . nothing else has been done," she said. "This morning I couldn’t get out of our driveway so my neighbor had to drive my kids to school, two tow trucks [took] away cars that tried to pass through but got stuck, and my husband was clearing out the storm drain with his hands."
Michele Myers Trageser, who lives on Montauk Avenue in Merrick, warned residents via Facebook that her block was badly flooded and cautioned drivers not to speed. "Have pity on me as I’m watching waves of water surge up towards my house as each car goes by," she wrote in the post. "A car actually had to back up to Merrick Avenue because they couldn’t get through."
From her front porch on Hale Place, Bellmore resident Lauren Corcoran-Doolin watched first responders assist neighbors near Wyckoff Avenue, which was flooded up to the curb. "From the looks of it on Facebook we’re not even the worst [area affected]," she wrote on Facebook, "but if we weren’t stuck in our house already we certainly are now."
Merrick resident Kerry Esmay told the Herald Life that the heavy rains brought two feet of water to her door Thursday morning. "I was sopping up water with towels and buckets," she said.