Manhattan braced for direct hit from Hurricane Irene I was in NYC for six weeks during the summer of 1999. It didn't rain at all, the entire city smelled like a sewer and it was oppressively hot. The day before I was to leave it finally rained. Rained so hard that the A and C line trains were shut down because the tracks were flooded. That's the main north south subway in Manhattan. That was a few inches of rain at high tide. What happens when they get twenty inches at high tide combined with a storm surge?