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Heavy rains cause flooding in New York area, disrupt travel

Workmen tend to an area in the Oculus structure at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub where water spilled from the ceiling during heavy rain on Friday, May 5, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)

NEW YORK (AP) — Record-breaking rains caused flooding in the city and flight delays in the region on Friday.

Two tracks at Penn Station were out of service because of flooding, and parts of West Side Highway, along the Hudson River, were closed in both directions.

A National Weather Service meteorologist said 3 inches of rain fell in Central Park, almost double the previous May 5 record of 1.55 inches in 1871.

The roof of the $4 billion transit hub at the World Trade Center leaked during the heavy rains.

A spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the facility, said World Trade Center officials had identified the areas where the leaks occurred and would take steps to mitigate future problems. The transit hub, which doubles as a high-end shopping mall, opened last year after years of delays and cost overruns.

Flooding disrupted service on several subway lines and PATH lines between New York and New Jersey.

Online images showed waterfalls cascading around columns beneath the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn. Taxis and cars crossing Central Park and parts of Staten Island were up to their hubcaps in murky water.

Flight-tracking website FlightAware said New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport was seeing inbound flight delays of about three hours. A flash flood warning was in effect for Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and several New Jersey counties.

Tow trucks were called to Kearny, New Jersey, to rescue six vehicles stuck in water near a bridge.

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