Eight Inches of Rain Reported in Orange County Resulting in Widespread Flooding, Road Closures and Other Life-Safety Impacts
Five Swift Water Rescue Teams and A High-Axle Vehicle Deployed to Assist with Flood Rescue Efforts in Mid-Hudson Region
State Emergency Operations Center and State Fire Operations Center Activated to Respond to Local Requests for Assistance
New Yorkers Should Monitor Local Weather Forecast Through Monday As More Heavy Rain and Flooding Expected
Road Closures in Rockland, Westchester, Orange, Putnam, and Clinton Counties
Governor Hochul today declared a State of Emergency for Orange County, where a reported eight inches of rain resulted in widespread flooding, numerous road closures, and other storm-related impacts. At Governor Hochul's direction, the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services' Office of Emergency Management activated the State Emergency Operations Center and is ready to support local requests for assistance. DHSES' Office of Fire Prevention and Control deployed four Swift Water Rescue teams and State Parks deployed an additional team on Sunday to the Mid-Hudson Region to assist with flood rescue efforts. DHSES field staff are also embedded at the Orange County Emergency Operations Center to facilitate local requests for assistance.
"I'm issuing a State of Emergency in Orange County, which has experienced life-threatening conditions due to flash flooding," Governor Hochul said. "We are approaching a critical point in this weather event, and New Yorkers must remain vigilant. Remember: avoid flooded roads, monitor your local forecasts and have an evacuation plan ready if you're in a danger zone."
DHSES is working closely with all impacted counties to coordinate response. Numerous roadways consisting of State Route 9W and Palisades Interstate Parkway are experiencing heavy flooding and washouts. The Palisades Parkway Northbound is closed from exit 14 to Long Mountain Traffic circle. As of Sunday evening, there were more than 12,000 power outages reported in Putnam, Dutchess, Albany, Ulster and Orange counties.
As of 8 p.m., road closures include:
- Palisades Interstate Parkway and U.S. Route 9W in Rockland County
- U.S. Route 6 in Westchester County
- U.S. Route 9W, State Route 218, State Route 293, State Route 17M, and State Route 32 in Orange County
- State Route 403 and State Route 301 in Putnam County
- State Route 190 in Clinton County
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, "We are working closely with partner agencies and local governments to address flooding in the Mid-Hudson region this evening. We have been preparing over the last few days for this weather system and have been in close contact with local officials throughout the weekend. New Yorkers should take extra caution, if traveling, and stay alert."
New York State Police Acting Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli said, "The New York State Police is working with its agency and law enforcement partners in the Hudson Valley Region to get stranded motorists to safety. We have deployed additional troopers and resources including Swift Water Teams to assist those impacted by the flooding. This is an active emergency situation, and more storms are expected. We urge motorists to avoid the area for their safety."
Tonight, and overnight, rain showers and thunderstorms are expected statewide. Tomorrow, thunderstorms forecast for the Capital Region, Central New York, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, New York City, North Country, and Southern Tier Regions, and rain showers forecast for the Finger Lakes Region. Excessive rainfall caused by slow-moving thunderstorms is likely to continue causing flash flooding and minor to isolated moderate river flooding tonight into Monday. Most of the eastern portion of the state remains under a moderate risk for excessive rainfall tonight and tomorrow. Additional rainfall amounts between 2 to 4 inches is likely, with locally higher amounts up to six inches tonight and tomorrow. A Flood Watch remains in effect for most of the state.
For a complete listing of weather alerts and forecasts, visit the National Weather Service website at https://alerts.weather.gov.
New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts by subscribing to NY Alert at alert.ny.gov, a free service providing critical emergency information to your cell phone or computer.
State Agency Preparedness
Department of Transportation
The Department of Transportation is monitoring and responding to weather conditions and has more than 3,470 supervisors and operators available statewide. Field staff in multiple regions are fully engaged and responding as needed. Staff can be configured into any type of response crews that are needed (flood response, chipper, load & haul, sewer jet, cut & toss, traffic signal, etc.).
Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:
- 1,425 large dump trucks
- 323 large loaders
- 79 tracked and wheeled excavators
- 84 chippers
- 19 graders
- 18 vacuum trucks with sewer jets
- 15 tree crew bucket trucks
The Thruway Authority has 654 operators and supervisors prepared to respond to any wind or flood related issues across the state with small to medium sized excavators, plow/dump trucks, large loaders, portable VMS boards, portable light towers, smaller generators, smaller pumps and equipment hauling trailers, as well as signage and other traffic control devices available for any detours or closures. Variable Message Signs and social media are utilized to alert motorists of weather conditions on the Thruway.
Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:
- 362 Large and Small Dump Trucks
- 59 Loaders
- 33 Trailers
- 6 Vac Trucks
- 12 Excavators
- 8 Brush Chippers
- 100 Chainsaws
- 23 Aerial Trucks
- 22 Skid Steers
- 83 Portable Generators
- 67 Portable Light Units
The Thruway Authority encourages motorists to download its mobile app which is available to download for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists direct access to live traffic cameras, real-time traffic information and navigation assistance while on the go. Motorists can also sign up for TRANSalert e-mails which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway, follow @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter, and visit thruway.ny.gov to see an interactive map showing traffic conditions for the Thruway and other New York State roadways.
Department of Environmental Conservation
DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers, Forest Rangers, Emergency Management staff, and regional staff are on alert and monitoring weather conditions. DEC personnel are actively patrolling areas and infrastructure likely to be impacted by severe weather—including heavy rainfall and local flooding—and will work closely with state and local agencies to coordinate flood mitigation equipment including pumps and sandbags in the event mitigation is needed to protect homes, businesses, or infrastructure. All available assets, including swift water rescue teams, are positioned to assist with any emergency response.
Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
New York State Park Police and park personnel are on alert and closely monitoring weather conditions and impacts. Park visitors should visit https://parks.ny.gov, check the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings and closings.
Department of Public Service
New York's utilities have approximately 5,500 workers available to engage in damage assessment, response, repair, and restoration efforts across New York State for this event. Agency staff will track utilities' work throughout the event and ensure utilities shift appropriate staffing to regions that experience the greatest impact.
New York State Police
State Police have deployed additional Troopers, to affected areas. All State Police specialized vehicles, including four-wheel drive vehicles and Utility Task Vehicles, are also ready for immediate response. Motorists should avoid the impacted regions. The Palisades Parkway Northbound is closed from exit 14 to Long Mountain Traffic circle.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is closely monitoring weather conditions to ensure safe, reliable service. MTA employees will be poised to respond to any weather-related issues and remove any downed trees that may fall across tracks. Customers are encouraged to check new.mta.info for the latest service updates. Customers should also sign up for real-time service alerts via text or email. These alerts are also available via the MTA's apps: MYmta and TrainTime.
The Port Authority is monitoring weather conditions. Speed restrictions may be in effect at the bridges, as well as along roadways to and from the crossings. Passengers through the Port Authority's facilities are encouraged to reach out to carriers and airlines directly for the latest information on delays and cancelations.
For the latest information about Port Authority facilities, please check social media, sign up for PA alerts or download one of the PA mobile apps, including RidePATH which provides real-time updates and alerts for PATH service.
Severe Weather Safety Tips
Have disaster supplies on hand, including:
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- First aid kit and manual
- Emergency food and water
- Non-electric can opener
- Essential medicines
- Checkbook, cash, credit cards, ATM cards
- Never attempt to drive on a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.
- If water begins to rise rapidly around you in your car, abandon the vehicle immediately.
- Do not underestimate the power of fast-moving water. Two feet of fast-moving flood water will float your car, and water moving at two miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.
- Follow the 30-30 rule: If the time between when you see a flash of lightning and hear thunder is 30 seconds or less, the lightning is close enough to hit you. Seek shelter immediately. After the last flash of lightning, wait 30 minutes before leaving your shelter.
- Lightning hits the tallest object. If you are above a tree line, quickly get below it and crouch down if you are in an exposed area.
- If you can't get to a shelter, stay away from trees. If there is no shelter, crouch in the open, keeping twice as far away from a tree as it is tall.
- If outdoors and a Tornado Warning is issued, seek shelter immediately. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in a ditch or low spot with your hands shielding your head.
- If at home or in a small building, go to the basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of the building. Stay away from windows. Closets, bathrooms, and other interior rooms offer the best protection. Get under something sturdy or cover yourself with a mattress.
- If in a school, hospital, or shopping center, go to a pre-designated shelter area. Stay away from large open areas and windows. Do not go outside to your car.
- If in a high-rise building, go to an interior small room or hallway on the lowest floor possible. Do not use elevators - use stairs instead.
For more information on personal preparedness and how to stay safe during severe weather, visit: https://www.dhses.ny.gov/safety-and-prevention.