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Tropical Storm Fay Causes Flooding, Power Problems Throughout New York City

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Tropical Storm Fay soaked New York City on Friday, resulting in flooding and some power problems.

On the corner of 37th Avenue and 11th Street in Long Island City, overhead wires caught fire, sending flames flying in the air and on the ground.

Michael Philip raced down the sidewalk, trying to avoid the energized wires that were just feet away from him.

"It's very dangerous. It's windy," he told CBS2's Cory James. "I just seen it drop, too. It's scary, man. That's scary. You can die by that."

The sparks ignited Friday evening as rain and heavy wind pushed through.

"It's definitely a wind-related issue," FDNY Chief Martin Currid said.

The FDNY says the situation was not only dangerous for them but also residents nearby.

"We had sparks and open flame down the block and even igniting a few trees," Currid said.

About a mile away at 35th Street and 23rd Avenue, MTA crews were out cutting up a downed tree. Authorities say it fell on top of tracks, temporarily suspending the N and W services in both directions between Queensboro Plaza and Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard.

"It's pouring like cats and dogs," Orlando Maldonado, of Manhattan, said.

That was shown at the 149th Grand Concourse stop in the Bronx, where water gushed down subway steps after either creeping in through blocked drains, vents or backed up city catch basins, according to MTA officials.

It also happened at the 23rd Street stop in Queens.

It was a mess caused by heavy downpour, something many had no choice but to walk in.

"It's pretty nasty out today," one man said.

But some of the folks impacted the most are the ones who have been trying to recover from the pandemic.

Watch Dave Carlin's report --

Restaurant owners say the last thing they need is another setback, but they're getting one in the form of Tropical Storm Fay.

Elizabeth Kajtazi owns Michaelangelo's Restaurant on Arthur Avenue which could seat 76 people before the pandemic. Capacity is now limited to 20, with outdoor dining only for the foreseeable future.

But, no one wants to settle down to eat in a downpour.

Kajtazi was moving tables partway indoors Friday afternoon.

"There's no point of putting the tables out," she told CBS2's Dave Carlin.

RELATED STORY: 'We Just Wanna Stay In Business': NYC Restaurants Struggling To Stay Afloat As Indoor Dining Is Postponed Indefinitely

Kajtazi had exactly two diners in for lunch Friday. She was expecting three to four times that.

The rain makes a mess of a plan to begin to bring back Arthur Avenue financially. Two blocks are closed to traffic Thursdays through Sundays, which is meant to entice visitors to grab a bite.

SEE IT: Time-Lapse Shows Tropical Storm Fay Churning Over New York City

"Tonight's not gonna be a great night for outdoor dining and, get your furniture and umbrellas and everything in so they don't go flying away and create any kind of danger," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Pascuale's Rigoletto was staffed up and ready for a crowd. Instead, workers stared at rows of empty outdoor tables.

They're hoping it doesn't stay this way all weekend, and feeling jealous many restaurants outside the city are allowed limited indoor dining.

MORE: New York City Expands Open Streets Program To Give Restaurants More Room For Outdoor Dining

"Westchester County is doing better than we are. I wish we could get to that point where we could be 50 percent," said Nick Marricco.

"It's heartbreaking. Hopefully we could use the inside, but that's not gonna happen anytime soon," said Kajtizi.

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