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Henri's Impact: Major Parkways In Westchester County Closed For Second Day Due To Flooding

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- After Tropical Storm Henri flooded parkways in Westchester County, drivers were still feeling the pain Monday.

But why do these vital traffic arteries get cut off when there is significant rainfall?

Crews scraped four inches of mud off the Bronx River Parkway, which closed for a second day because of Henri, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported.

On Sunday, a car got stuck in the floodwaters, which rise over the road when it rains significantly.

"Here we go again," said Anna Neuman from Yonkers.

The four north/south parkways in Westchester County were all constructed in the flood plain, parallel to rivers.

Back in the day, occasional flooding wasn't a big deal because the parkways were not heavily traveled.

But today, closure of the Saw Mill River Parkway for a second day inconvenienced thousands while the water slowly receded.

In 2007, the county spent several hundred thousand dollars on a fix to keep cars off the parkways during floods: metal cabinets - installed at some entrances - with flexible rollup netting stored inside that could be pulled across entrance ramps to shut down access.

It seemed innovative at the time and certainly was well-intentioned. But it failed the real world application test. Crews found it was quicker to just grab barricades off a truck.

Most of the units have been removed.

The bottom line: parkway flooding is a fact of life in Westchester County.

"The engineering fix to try to eliminate that kind of flooding is so expensive as to be impossible to justify given the fact that these incidents happen a couple of times a year," said County Executive George Latimer.

Latimer said parkways were shut down quickly this time around, few cars were stranded and not one driver needed to be rescued.

While the flooding can't be eliminated, experts said the state is funding work to raise the roadway on the Saw Mill River Parkway to reduce flooding.

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