‘Terror and devastation.’ Highland Falls hit with record rainfall in deadly, historic storm

Officials say it’s only the second time the National Weather Service has issued a flash flood emergency in Orange County and that the first was during Hurricane Ida.

Blaise Gomez

Jul 10, 2023, 6:57 PM

Updated 284 days ago

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Authorities describe the deadly devastation from Sunday's storm in hard-hit Highland Falls as a historic event, unlike any seen in the state in centuries
They say it’s only the second time the National Weather Service has issued a flash flood emergency in Orange County and that the first was during Hurricane Ida.
Floodwaters forced evacuations in the village and in the Town of Highlands. Residents at Weyant Green Apartments helped their neighbors as feet of raging floodwaters tore through Sunday afternoon.
“It was just a nightmare,” said Aidan Decarlo. “The water was so high, and it was coming over the bridge like 3 or 4 feet at one point, and it kept splashing up higher and higher.”
Huge chunks of sidewalk in the development off West Point Highway near a large steam can be seen ripped up by the storm’s raging waters, which have now subsided.
Authorities say 43-year-old Pamela Nugent was on Mine Dock Road in town, and was unable to escape. They say she drowned during the flooding, and her fiancé who was nearby, could not save her.
Several roads, bridges and entire neighborhoods are washed out.
Gov. Kathy Hochul held a news conference Monday morning about the unprecedented storm that caused damages estimated at tens of millions of dollars.
“This is the new normal, and we in government working with our partners on the ground after work in our communities to build up resiliency to be prepared for the worst because the worst continues to happen,” said Hochul. The governor said state and federal aid will be needed to help the community rebuild.
Many residents remain without drinking water, and others still can’t get into their homes. Routes 218, 9W, 9A, 293, 32, 6 and the Palisades Interstate Parkway in Orange County remain closed until further notice due to severe damages and road washouts
Authorities say over 500 calls for water rescues in homes and vehicles were fielded by emergency responders in the Highland Falls area at the height of the storm


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