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Extreme flooding overwhelms New York roadways, kills one

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 United States (US) began bracing for potentially punishing rains.

As the storm moved east, the National Weather Service extended flash flood warnings into Connecticut, including the cities of Stamford and Greenwich, before creeping into Massachusetts. Forecasters said some areas could get as much as five inches of rain.

In New York’s Hudson Valley, rescue teams were attempting to retrieve the body of a woman in her 30s who drowned after being swept away while trying to evacuate her home.

Two other people escaped.

The force of the flash flooding dislodged boulders, which rammed the woman’s house and damaged part of its wall, Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus told The Associated Press.

“Her house was completely surrounded by water,” he said.

Vehicles come to a standstill near a washed-out and flooded portion of the Palisades Parkway. PHOTO: AP

“She was trying to get through (the flooding) with her dog,” he added, “and she was overwhelmed by tidal-wave type waves’’.

The extent of the destruction from the slow moving storm, which pounded the area with up to eight inches of rain, won’t be known until after sunrise, when residents and officials can begin surveying the damage. But officials said the storm had already wrought tens of millions of dollars in damage.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul confirmed to WCBS radio that several people were missing and one home was washed away.

The rains have hit some parts of New York 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,” she said, but added “it’s going to be a rough night”.

The governor declared a state of emergency on Sunday for Orange County, about 96 kilometres north of New York City. She later extended the state of emergency to Ontario County in western New York, southeast of Rochester.

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