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Flooding in New York's subway lines in the US has ground the city's morning commute to a halt, angering New Yorkers who are facing rail and utility fee hikes to support an ageing infrastructure.
Every subway line into Manhattan was affected by flooding after a severe pre-dawn storm sent roofs flying, toppled trees, submerged cars and inundated subway stations.
"Riders are stunned that the (subway) system is so vulnerable to rain," Gene Russianoff said, a spokesman for The Straphangers Campaign, a transit advocacy group.
"It's not like we live in the Gobi Desert."
The weather caused one death when a woman's car, trapped by flooding, was struck by another vehicle, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference.
Power outages afflicted all five city boroughs, leaving 14,000 customers without electricity at the height of the storm, utility company Consolidated Edison said.
Parts of Brooklyn bore the brunt of the storm with 40 houses and up to 200 cars sustaining serious damage, Mr Bloomberg said.
The National Weather Service was trying to determine whether a tornado had touched down.
None of the city's subway lines - which normally carry about seven million riders a day - was running at full capacity in the morning rush, and several were shut down completely.
"I don't know whether God has rush hour in mind when storms hit," Mr Bloomberg said.
By midday (local time), limited service had been restored on some subway lines, but rising temperatures and the possibility of more storms prompted Bloomberg to voice concern that the evening commute could cause additional damage or injuries.
Some suburban trains were also delayed, and the ripple effects snarled the commute for thousands of people who travel to the city from New Jersey and other areas.
Posted Thu Aug 9, 2007 6:26am AEST
Updated Thu Aug 9, 2007 7:34am AEST
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