Initially the match was expected to kick off at 4pm, but with the Pools team bus going nowhere, a decision was made on safety grounds.
Hartlepool had travelled down overnight to ensure that they would have no trouble getting to the match on time, but a major accident caused gridlock around the M11 and A406 leaving them unable to make it to the ground from their hotel in Waltham Cross.
Hartlepool's official Twitter feed said: "All we can do is apologise to supporters who made the journey to London. Events outside our control meant travel to the ground impossible."
Assistant manager Michael Barron tweeted: "No where near ground and 3-30 so game called off. Its a first for me but right decision as I could be after 5 when we get to ground."
The match was not the only one called off: Sunderland's home clash with Reading was also cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch after torrential rain battered the Stadium of Light.
A Sunderland club statement said: "Torrential rain across Wearside overnight and throughout Saturday in the build up to the game led to an inspection from Match Officials.
"Despite attempts from club staff and the officials to get the game to go ahead, the postponement was announced by referee Neil Swarbrick after thorough checks on the Stadium of Light pitch.
"An announcement for the rearranged fixture will be made in due course and all tickets purchased will still be valid."
Sunderland were expected to give new striker Steven Fletcher a debut following his £14 million move from Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday.
Another new addition to the club's ranks, Adam Johnson, was scheduled to be welcomed by the club's fans after he also completed his £11 million move from Manchester City on Friday, but did not do so in time to be eligible for the match.
The Black Cats were hoping to build on last weekend's creditable 0-0 draw at Arsenal, while newly-promoted Reading were looking for their first win back in the top flight after drawing with Stoke City on the opening day and then losing 4-2 at Chelsea on Wednesday.