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Torrential Rainfall Triggers Deadly Flooding In Northeast, Leaving Trail Of Destruction

Flash floods devastate Northeast, claiming lives and causing widespread damage

At least one fatality was confirmed after a slow-moving storm system brought torrential rainfall and life-threatening flooding to the Northeast on Sunday.

Orange County, located in New York state’s Hudson Valley region, was among the hardest-hit areas on Sunday.

A woman in her mid-30s was killed when she tried to leave her house with her dog in Highlands, New York, according to Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus, PIX11 reported. Neuhaus believes the victim’s house floated away. According to officials, the dog and the victim’s family were okay. Highlands is a town in Orange County about 40 miles north of New York City.

An aerial view shows damage to a parking lot after historic rainfall north of New York City triggered dozens of water rescues and led to roadways being washed out after more than a half-foot of rain fell in only a few hours Sunday in Orange County, New York, United States on July 10, 2023. (LOKMAN VURAL ELIBOL/ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY)  

Multiple vehicles were trapped and submerged in floodwaters on Sunday in Orange County. Several roads were closed after they became impassable due to the rising waters.

Trooper Steven V. Nevel of the New York State Police told The New York Times that several bridges had collapsed, and many roads were impassable, including the Palisades Interstate Parkway, which is a heavily traveled road in the area.

The National Weather Service reported a portion of U.S. Highway 6 near Fort Montgomery, New York, collapsed west of the Palisades Interstate Parkway on Sunday evening. Several roads in the area were closed as water rescues took place. Highland Falls, a town in Orange County, was unreachable from Interstate 87 or Route 6 due to the flooding, according to News 12.

The Deputy Commissioner of Orange County, New York, Alan Mack told AccuWeather Chief On-Air Meteorologist Bernie Rayno and AccuWeather Senior Television Meteorologist Kristina Shalhoup that floodwaters on Sunday evening completely cut off the village of Highland Falls from surrounding areas.

“The roads have been washed out, and where they weren’t, the low-lying roads were flooded,” said Mack. “People that were there were stuck there, and people on the outside, couldn’t get in.”

Mack said water levels receded a bit on Monday morning, allowing emergency officials to get in and set up a command post. He emphasized that people should remain off the roadways until the water fully recedes.

On Monday morning, the New York State Department of Transportation said flooding rain had caused more roads to close, and additional closures were likely throughout the day.

Top rainfall reports from 24 hours ending Monday morning, July 10. (ACCUWEATHER)

“Orange County experienced a one-in-1,000-years weather event [Sunday] night,” New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a press conference on Monday morning. “The rain has subsided, but the crisis is not over.”

Late Sunday, Hochul declared a state of emergency for Orange County due to the deadly flash floods. Roughly an hour later, Hochul expanded the state of emergency to include Ontario County, which is located just southeast of Rochester, due to the significant flooding the area was experiencing.

“Make no mistake: This is our new normal,” said Hochul. “We are the first generation to feel the impacts of climate change and the last generation with a shot at doing anything about it.”

Just after 5 p.m. EDT, a flash flood emergency was issued in parts of the Hudson Valley. The highest rainfall total in New York on Sunday came from Putnam Valley, which is located 43 miles north of New York City. As of 8 a.m. EDT Monday, 10.49 inches of rain had been measured.

The Metro-North Railroad service between Croton-Harmon and Poughkeepsie was suspended on Sunday due to the flooding rain and is expected to remain suspended through Monday.

Highland Mills/Woodbury Flooding in Orange County New York #HudsonValley #NYwx @weatherchannel @News12HV @NBCNewYork @CBSNewYork @ABC7 @Ginger_Zee @JimCantore @TWCChrisBruin @BlaiseGomez12

— Kevin McCoy (@Kevin_MMcCoy) July 10, 2023

“Due to the impact of severe storms in northern Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties, leaving behind high water, trees, boulders and other debris, sections of Metro-North’s Hudson Line tracks north of Croton-Harmon have become impassable,” according to a press release from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Roads were transformed into raging rivers across Vermont on Monday morning as rain continued to fall across the Northeast.

According to the Vermont State Police, at least two dozen roads across the state have been closed due to flooding.

The National Weather Service office in Burlington issued a flash flood emergency in central Vermont on Monday morning. In fact, it is the first flash flood emergency to ever be issued in the state since the implementation of the alert in 2014, according to Rutgers University meteorology student Collin Gross.

A swift water rescue was conducted in Andover, Vermont, on Monday morning after 10 people became stranded once their campsite flooded, according to ABC22 Meteorologist Alex Wasilenko.

The entrance to Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow, Vermont right now as heavy rain continues. Video by my friend Pat Moore.

— Tyler Jankoski NBC5 📺 (@TylerJankoski) July 10, 2023

Water was rushing down to the entrance to Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow, Vermont, on Monday morning. Construction trucks could be seen clearing debris and rocks from the water-logged roads in Ludlow.

During a radio show on Monday morning, Mark Breen, the senior meteorologist at the Fairbanks Museum in Vermont, said Monday’s flooding could end up being the “most significant flooding that we’ve seen since Tropical Storm Irene.”

“Culverts are already being overwhelmed, and so there are going to be a lot of road washouts,” Breen said on Vermont Public Radio. “It’s just a significant situation. This is not just normal flooding.”


Flood watches and warnings were still active across a large swath of the Northeast on Monday morning. Many areas from New Jersey to Maine will have a heightened flash flood risk on Monday as showers linger. AccuWeather meteorologists say downpours will gradually ease from west to east on Monday and Tuesday.

Flooding across a road in Juniata County, Pennsylvania, on July 9, 2023. (MICHAEL WOYTOWIEZ/TWITTER)

In central Pennsylvania, some of the first reports of flooding occurred around 12 p.m. EDT in Juniata County, where roads were washed out. As the rain moved east, a bevy of flooding reports came in for the eastern part of the state into the evening.

Trained spotters reported a water rescue was underway for a truck trapped in flooding in Berks County, Pennsylvania, just before 5 p.m. EDT on Sunday. Several roads in the area were also impassable due to the rising water, including U.S. Highway 22 and Pennsylvania Route 309.

As the deluge of rain moved northeast, emergency management officials in Durham Township, Pennsylvania—located about 12 miles southeast of Allentown—reported evacuations due to rising water in the area.

The highest rainfall total came from Chalfont, Pennsylvania, which is located 20 miles north of Philadelphia. A total of 8.01 inches of rain was reported in Chalfont as of 10 p.m. EDT Sunday. Reading, Pennsylvania, recorded 5.35 inches of rain on Sunday, breaking its daily maximum rainfall record previously set in 1952.

Produced in association with AccuWeather

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