Governors Cathy Hochul of New York and Phil Scott of Vermont have declared states of emergency in response to the deadly storm, which brought heavy rain and flash flooding, resulting in widespread damage and the loss of one person.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning across New England, placing several states at severe flood risk.
In New York, the storm caused severe flooding, forcing Amtrak to shut down service between New York City and Albany. Metro-North tracks in the Hudson Valley suffered flood damage, rendering them impassable. Governor Hochul stressed the seriousness of the situation, urged motorists to avoid flooded roads and cautioned that the crisis was not over. Orange County was particularly badly affected, forcing Executive Steve Neuhaus to declare a state of emergency and activate the county’s Emergency Operations Center.
In Vermont, Governor Scott described the flooding as worse than during Tropical Storm Irene. The storm washed out roads and cut off contact with communities, causing significant disruption. Governor Scott issued a state of emergency, emphasizing the need for an all-out response and expressing concern about the continued rain and subsequent waves of damage.
As the storm system moves east, the National Weather Service warns of a major threat of flooding across much of New England. Parts of New Hampshire have already experienced heavy rain and flooding, resulting in the evacuation of guests at a retreat center. The NWS stresses the serious danger to life and property and advises the public to be vigilant and avoid driving through flood waters.
The devastating storm and its aftermath highlight the risks associated with extreme weather events. The effects of climate change, including a warming atmosphere, have been identified as a contributing factor to the increased likelihood of such intense rainfall. Additionally, the southwestern United States, especially Arizona, is experiencing extreme heat waves, further underscoring the challenges posed by a changing climate.
The immediate focus remains on rescue efforts, damage assessment and providing assistance to affected communities. The effects of the storm are expected to last late Tuesday night or into Wednesday morning, so residents should make safety a priority and heed official warnings. This situation is a reminder of the urgent need for climate action and preparedness in the face of increasing weather extremes.