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Intense Flooding in New York’s Hudson Valley Leaves One Dead and Causes Road Closures; Northeast Braces for Severe Storm

Heavy rains unleashed intense flooding in New York’s Hudson Valley region, killing at least one person, inundating roads and forcing road closures Sunday night. Much of the rest of the northeastern United States is bracing for a severe storm.

As the storm moved east, the National Weather Service extended its flood advisories to Connecticut, including the cities of Stamford and Greenwich, and expected the system to move to Massachusetts next. Some areas could receive up to 13 centimeters (5 inches) of rain, according to forecasts.

In New York’s Hudson Valley, rescue crews were trying to recover the body of a woman in her 30s who drowned when she was dragged away while trying to evacuate her home. Two other people escaped unharmed.

The force of the flash flood sent rocks crashing into the woman’s home and damaging part of the wall, Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus told The Associated Press.

“Her house was completely surrounded by water. The family tried to escape,” she noted. “She was trying to cross (the flood) with her dog and she was overtaken by tidal waves.”

The extent of destruction from the slow-moving storm will not be known until after dawn, when residents and officials begin surveying the damage. But officials stressed that the storm, which has dumped more than 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water, has already caused tens of millions of dollars in damage.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul confirmed to WCBS radio station that several people were missing and a house had been washed away.

The rains have hit some parts of New York harder than others, but authorities warned that communities in the eastern part of the state should prepare for torrential rains and possible flash flooding.

Authorities urged residents of towns in the path of the storm to stay off the roads.

“The amount of water is extraordinary and it is still a very dangerous situation,” Hochul said.

“We’ll get through this,” he said, but added that “it’s going to be a tough night.”

The governor declared a state of emergency Sunday for Orange County, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) north of New York City, where about 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain fell. She later extended the state of emergency to Ontario County in western New York, southeast of Rochester.

“We are in close communication with local authorities and state agencies are involved in search and rescue tasks,” he explained.

The state deployed five swiftwater rescue crews and one high-axle vehicle to assist with rescues in flooded areas.

Some videos posted on social media showed the extent of the flooding, with streams of brownish torrents crossing right next to homes and roads washed out by fast-moving cascades.

State Highway 9W was flooded and the Palisades Interstate Highway was so inundated that some sections had to be closed, the New York State Police said in a statement. The police called on the population to avoid that road.

2023-07-10 10:40:00
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