March 12-13, 2011

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High waters receding

An overflowing Wallkill River forced this road closure in Gardiner

HUDSON VALLEY/CATSKILLS – The flood waters began to recede in portions of the region as the National Weather Service cancelled the Flood Watch Friday. There was minor flooding reported in some areas as creeks overflowed their banks and low lying roads were underwater.

Problems may linger through much of Saturday in the lower Hudson Valley.  Most of the ‘parkways’ in Westchester County were at least partially closed for much of Friday, seriously disrupting commuter travel.  Some flooding was still reported early Saturday morning.

In Ulster County, the high end of the rainfall total was in Phoenicia at 4.94 inches. Woodstock recorded 3.82 inches and Slide Mountain recorded 3.72 inches.

The Upper Esopus crested at 15.8 feet at 5:15 a.m. Friday, 4.8 feet above flood stage. The Lower Esopus crested at 23.05 feet at Mt. Marion at 9 .a.m., three feet above flood stage. The Rondout appears to have crested at 11 a.m. at 21.4 feet, almost 3 ½ feet above flood. The Wallkill was at 12.64 feet and rising with flood stage at 13 feet.

From 6 p.m. Thursday through noon Friday, the fire service in Ulster County pumped 230 cellars. There were eight rescues of people from vehicles when they tried to drive through flooded roadways.

County Emergency Services Director Arthur Snyder said evacuations occurred in parts of Shandaken, Saugerties, Town of Kingston and Woodstock. Ad hoc shelters were set up at Belleayre Ski Center, Saugerties Senior Citizens Center and the Sawkill Firehouse.

Roads are reopening as waters recede.

At mid-afternoon Friday in Orange County, the Town of Deerpark ended its state of emergency. The Town of Warwick had also declared a state of emergency because of flooding.

At 2 p.m., a number of roads remained closed in Orange County. In the Town of Tuxedo, Route 17 had only one lane open to traffic with delays expected.

Other counties in the region, which experienced similar problems, are also gradually returning to normal as residents continue to call fire departments to pump out their flooded basements.


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