Orange County has declared a state of emergency due to severe flooding caused by storms and heavy rain, resulting in at least one fatality, Governor Kathy Hochul announced.
Tragic news unfolded as a woman in her mid-30s lost her life while attempting to evacuate her house in Highland Falls. Amid the mass flooding, both she and her dog were swept away by floodwaters as they tried to reach her car. The woman was later found deceased, while the dog was safely taken in by a neighbor.
Highland Falls and southern Orange County bore the brunt of the devastating impact, rendering most roads impassable. County Executive Steve Neuhaus reported extensive flooding in the area and urged residents to stay at home and avoid traveling.
The deluge caused Orange County to transform into a torrential river, with West Point Highway submerged and cars left stranded on Thayer Road at West Point. This region experienced the highest rainfall totals in the Tri-State Area, accumulating almost 8 inches of rain.
County officials, including Neuhaus, worked tirelessly to respond to individuals trapped in dangerous situations, including collapsing houses and evacuating elderly residents from nursing homes. Local authorities maintained close communication with the governor’s office, while state agencies supported search-and-rescue operations.
Rockland County also faced rescue operations, with one man saved by boat near Lowland Hill Road in Stony Point. Haverstraw residents, who were attending a celebration in the park, found themselves stranded as floodwaters surrounded them.
Six hikers, including a child with a head injury, were rescued from Bear Mountain in nearby Rockland County. County Executive Ed Day highlighted the rapid intensity of the rain, which compromised the stability of the mountain slopes.
The Chabad of Stony Point Synagogue witnessed water levels rising perilously close to its windows, but congregants expressed relief that they could continue their prayers without harm.
Stony Point encountered significant rainfall, resulting in flooded vehicles at the Penguin Rep Theatre, necessitating towing.
Travel conditions remain challenging, with Route 9-W closed until deemed safe for vehicles, and the Palisades Parkway north of Exit 14 also closed.
For residents of Orange and Rockland counties, it is strongly advised to avoid unnecessary travel and remain off the roads unless absolutely essential.