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Woman dies after being swept away by rapid water in New York flash flood

A summer storm was moving slowly over the Northeast, from Washington, D.C., to New England, prompting concerns for low-lying areas.
/ Source: NBC News

A rare flash flood warning was in place for much of New York City into the early hours of Monday after heavy rains in the Northeast caused at least one death.

The warning, issued by federal forecasters Sunday night, applied to the boroughs of Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx. In social media bulletins published in multiple languages, New York City Emergency Management warned residents in basements to seek higher ground.

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency for Orange County, 60 miles north of New York City, where a woman in her 30s was swept away by rapid waters as she sought higher ground with her dog, County Executive Steven Neuhaus said.

The woman’s identity was unavailable.

Neuhaus said the hardest-hit communities include the village of Highland Falls, where the woman died, Fort Montgomery and West Point. First responders have received numerous reports of property damage and people trapped in vehicles, he said.

A vehicle on its side blocks a road Sunday in Orange County, New York.
A vehicle on its side blocks a road Sunday in Orange County, New York.Kristen Dyroff O'Dell

The town of Cornwall, on the western shore of the Hudson River, declared a state of emergency and said in a statement that travel will be restricted to emergency vehicles.

Hochul’s office said in a statement that 13,000 utility customers in the state were without power. Many were in the Hudson Valley, which includes Orange County.

Fort Montgomery resident Kristen Dyroff O’Dell said she was outside the town, cut off from her husband and three young boys without a way in. She said the National Guard was needed to restore access.

“Our town is completely cut off from the rest of the world right now due to mudslides, sinkholes, washed away roads, flooding, brick walls crumbling and more,” she said. “I’m separated from my kids right now in Monroe at a friend’s house after spending five hours trying multiple ways to get to Fort Montgomery. Every route was impassable."

Elsewhere, water rescues were made amid flooding in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, according to drone-based video from the area. Flooding was also reported in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Route 202 in Yorktown, N.Y.
Route 202 in Yorktown, New York on Sunday.Seth Harrison / The Journal News / USA Today Network

While the National Weather Service office that serves Washington, D.C., and Baltimore said the storm had nearly cleared its area Sunday evening, the office that covers the Philadelphia region warned of possible hail and waterspouts along the New Jersey coast.

Air travelers in the Northeast were likely to face delays. La Guardia Airport in New York said the weather has caused flight disruptions. Boston Logan International Airport listed multiple flight delays and cancellations.

Airport officials advised travelers to reach out to their airlines to determine flight statuses.

Amtrak said late Sunday that train service between New York City and Albany, New York, had been suspended because of the weather.

The weather service said in a forecast discussion that the heavy rain was being produced by the clash of a relatively strong summer cold front with an unusual plume of tropical moisture.

It said the threat of flooding in Pennsylvania and New York on Sunday night would extend Monday to New England.