Several feet of floodwater swamped the Rockaways Friday as a ferocious Christmas weekend storm struck New York — damaging homes, submerging cars and leaving people stranded or forced to wade through the streets in water up to their knees.
Footage obtained by The Post shows NYPD officers rushing to the rescue of a woman and two children who became stuck on a school bus surrounded by floodwater on Burchell Avenue and Beach 72nd Street in Rockaway Beach on Friday morning.
Meanwhile, neighbors were forced to pump water from their water-logged abodes — where Christmas presents were left all but destroyed.
Natasha Wilds, 40, who lives at 69th and Almeda Ave, said the lower level of her home was flooded, submerging the boiler that heats her house as temperatures rapidly plunged.
“I’m fighting tears,” she told The Post. “Mostly because the kids’ [Christmas] presents were in the basement. It was unexpected. We expected the storm, but we didn’t expect the flood.”
As temperatures dropped from the 50s to a low of 9 degrees, she scrambled to set up heaters to keep her family warm.
“We got alerts, but it was too late,” she said. “This is horrible.”
Neighbor Michael Kololyan, 33, said his home was also damaged by a sudden deluge of heavy rain.
“I opened the basement door, and there was a freaking river flowing into the house,” said Kololyan. “Water is a whole other beast at that point.”
Other residents were frustrated by the city’s failure to properly warn them about the flooding — and provide help in the aftermath.
“Nobody came by here today… The city sucks sometimes,” said Troy Gordon, a 49-year-old property manager.
“They didn’t say we were going to get a lot of flooding, nothing. No warning,” he fumed, adding he lost a washer, dryer and refrigerator in his flooded basement.
City Hall on Friday refused to say where Mayor Eric Adams was as Winter Storm Elliot — dubbed a “once-in-a-generation” weather event — approached, except that he had taken two days off and will return on Saturday.
Most of the city’s flooding relief Friday was focused on Jamaica Bay and the New York harbor, Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol said at a press conference.
Meanwhile, Rockaway residents struggled to drive in what appeared to be 2 to 3 feet of water in some areas — and one brave soul paddled down a street in a kayak, according to footage posted on Twitter.
The kayaker was seen floating down the middle of a street alongside storm-battered homes on East 8th Road near Rockaway Beach’s Broad Channel, one clip shows.
Floodwater also crept up to residents’ doorsteps in Bell Harbor, and one resident was shown wading across a street with water up to his knees in nearby Howard Beach, according to more footage on social media.
New York declared a state of emergency Friday as Winter Storm Elliott descended on the region, bringing heavy wind, flooding and rapidly plunging temperatures.
The Big Apple’s biggest threat on Saturday is a forecast flash freeze that could turn rain-slicked roads and sidewalks treacherous with black ice, Iscol said.
Temperatures could also drop into the single digits and wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour are expected, he said.
The powerful bomb cyclone — when atmospheric pressure drops quickly in a strong storm — reached peak intensity Friday evening with wind gusts up to 70 mph in Buffalo, New York.
In total, at least 1.5 million people in the US were left without electricity Friday due to the storm.
The wild weather also snarled travel during one of the busiest weeks of the year — with more than 5,000 flight into or out of the US canceled Friday and more than 8,000 flights delayed, according to flight tracking site FlightAware.