Flooding in NY prompts road closures, triggers state of emergency
New York’s Hudson Valley region experienced catastrophic flooding as heavy rain engulfed the area, claiming the life of one individual and causing extensive damage to infrastructure. The torrential downpour prompted the closure of several roads and raised concerns about potential flash flooding in other parts of the Northeastern United States.
As the storm system progressed eastward, the National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings for Connecticut, encompassing cities like Stamford and Greenwich, and later extended them into Massachusetts. Meteorologists anticipated that certain areas could receive up to 12.7cm (5 inches) of rainfall.
Tragic Drowning Incident
In the Hudson Valley, rescue teams mobilized in an effort to recover the body of a woman in her 30s who tragically drowned while attempting to evacuate her residence. Two other individuals managed to escape. Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus informed The Associated Press that the forceful floodwaters dislodged boulders, which collided with the woman’s house, causing damage to its structure. “Her house was completely surrounded by water,” Neuhaus stated. “She was trying to navigate through the flooding with her dog,” he added, “and she was overwhelmed by powerful waves resembling a tidal surge.”
The extent of the destruction caused by the slow-moving storm, which unloaded up to 20cm (8 inches) of rainfall, will only be fully ascertained after daybreak when residents and officials can assess the aftermath. Preliminary estimates from officials indicate that the storm has already resulted in tens of millions of dollars in damages.
Impacted Areas and Road Safety
While the intensity of the rainfall varied across New York, officials advised residents in the eastern part of the state to prepare for heavy rains and the potential for flash flooding. Authorities strongly urged those in the storm’s path to avoid using roads, emphasizing the extraordinary volume of water and the perilous conditions it posed.
Governor Hochul Declares State of Emergency
On Sunday, Governor Hochul declared a state of emergency for Orange County, located approximately 97km (60 miles) north of New York City. Later, she extended the state of emergency to Ontario County, situated in western New York southeast of Rochester. The governor reassured the public that state agencies were actively engaged in search and rescue operations and coordinating closely with local officials. The deployment of five swift water rescue teams and a high-axle vehicle was announced to support rescue efforts in flood-affected areas.
Further Warnings and Preparations
The National Weather Service (NWS) cautioned that significant flooding and excessive rainfall were expected to pose a substantial threat across much of New England by Monday. Particularly intense rainfall was predicted for Vermont and northeastern New York. Additionally, New York City was forecasted to experience showers and thunderstorms, heightening the risk of flash flooding. The city’s emergency notification system advised residents to prepare for potential life-threatening flooding in basements and encouraged them to relocate to higher ground if necessary.