‘Life Threatening’ Flooding Overwhelms New York Roadways, Killing 1 Person

Melissa Roberts/via REUTERS
Streets are flooded in Highland Falls, Orange County, U.S., in this video screengrab obtained from social media, July 9, 2023.

NEW YORK (AP) — Heavy rain spawned extreme flooding in New York’s Hudson Valley that killed at least one person, swamped roadways and forced road closures on Sunday night, as much of the rest of the Northeast U.S. prepared for a major storm.

The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings across parts of southeastern New York, describing it as “life threatening,” as well as warnings in northeastern New Jersey.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul confirmed to WCBS radio that at least one person had died due to the flooding and several others were missing. She said one home had been washed away.

The rains have hit some parts of the state harder than others, but officials said communities to the east of the state should brace for torrential rains and possible flash flooding.

Officials urged residents in the line of the storm to stay off the roads.

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

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

The governor declared a state of emergency just after 9 p.m. Sunday for Orange County, about 60 miles north of New York City, where about 8 inches of rain poured down.

“We are in close communication with local officials and state agencies are participating in search and rescue efforts,” she said.

The state deployed five swift-water rescue teams and a high-axle vehicle to help with rescues in flooded areas.

Some video posted on social media showed the extent of flooding, with streams of brown-colored torrents rushing right next to homes.

Showers and thunderstorms were also expected in New York City Sunday night and may lead to flash flooding, the National Weather Service New York tweeted.

The city’s emergency notification system tweeted that the heavy rain could cause “life-threatening flooding to basements” and instructed residents to “prepare now to move to higher ground if needed.”

State Route 9W was flooded, and the Palisades Interstate Parkway became so drenched that parts of it was closed, the New York State Police said in a statement. The police asked the public to avoid the parkway.

Cedar Pond Brook in Stony Point was flowing over the road and into private properties, according to WABC.

NWS said in a tweet that by Monday, “a considerable flood threat with a high risk of excessive rainfall is expected across much of New England.” Intense rain may be especially strong in Vermont and northeastern New York.