Officials: New City Hardest Hit By Torrential Rains

Estimated 3.5 inches of rain hit New City in fast-moving storm.

Most of southern Rockland County was hit hard by this afternoon's fast-moving storm with its torrential rains, but emergency officials said New City was hit the hardest.

Rockland County Fire and Emergency Services Director Gordon Wren Jr. said that based on figures from United Water Co., New City was hit with 3.5 inches of rain — on top of about 1.78 inches of rain that hit on Wednesday.

What made the storm's impact so significant today, Wren said, was that the rain fell at a pace equal to 5 inches an hour, based on United Water's measurements.

Wren said northern portions of the county received about an inch less rain and were not as heavily affected. Wren said volunteer firefighters from the southern part of the county were calling upon volunteers from the less-affected areas to assist them with flood-related emergency calls.

Downtown New City had some of the most visible problems with North Main Street and New Hempstead Road closed, as well as a portion of Route 304 near McDonald's — which was also flooded. However, Wren said downtown Nyack was also heavily affected by the flooding and the basements of many Nyack businesses are flooded.

Wren said extra pumps and other equipment have been sent to help local firefighters cope with the flooding.

In the Nanuet/Spring Valley area, Wren said the New Holland Village residential complex was hit hard by flooding. He said the basement of the complex is filled with water and utility service had to be cut.

In Ramapo, a small bridge was damaged and a private bridge was washed out. As waters receded in New City, contiued rains brought more flooding to West Nyack, where late in the afternoon Route 59 near Palisades Center mall was closed.

Travel across Rockland County was difficult because of flooding that also hit the New York State Thruway. In Nyack, a river of water and debris cut across the roadway as flood waters came rushing off the adjacent mountainside and filled up drainage areas alongside the highway.

Sections of Route 303 in West Nyack were also closed and a portion of Route 304 in Pearl River was flooded. Flooding also hit throughout Nanuet.

Both Rockland County and the Town of Clarkstown declared a state of emergency because of the storm. As of 5 p.m., Rockland County said its state of emergency is over.

The rains also brought about postponements of local events.

The Clarkstown school district moved tonight's Clarkstown South High School graduation to 10 a.m. on Saturday. In Congers, volunteer firefighters there were scheduled to open their annual carnival tonight. The carnival has been delayed until Friday.

Local sports events were also postponed because of the rains.


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