Stony Point swamped: flash flooding causes road closure and property damage across Northern Rockland

Stony Point is still recovering from a massive thunderstorm that struck the town on Sunday, dumping over 8 inches of rain on the county and causing a flash flood that severely damaged homes, roadways, and state parks in north Rockland. At time of publication, Harriman State Park, Bear Mountain State Park, Bear Mountain Circle, Bear Mountain Bridge, Long Mountain Circle, the Palisades Interstate Parkway north of exit 14, and the William J. Moreau Popolopen Bridge remain closed as emergency  workers continue to assess the damage and begin repairs. Route 9W has suffered severe damage and cannot currently be used to enter or exit the town. The storm claimed the life of a woman in Orange County,  though Rockland has reported no fatalities in the wake of the flood. 

“We didn’t think the water was going to go super high, but then it started. Within thirty minutes we couldn’t get out” said Richard Beyers, a Stony Point resident who lives across the road from Charles Eccher Park. Beyers was evacuated from his home by boat thanks to the efforts of the Piermont Water Rescue Team, after debris and overflow from the park swept down hill and flooded his house as well as his neighbors.

“I could barley make out the guard rail (in front of my house)”, said Cindy Beyers, who compared the effects of the storm negatively to Hurricane Sandy.

More than 40 people were evacuated from the Palisades Parkway North as emergency workers and volunteers contended with the sudden and devastating rain fall. Some were rescued from their cars with the help of a jet boat as the Bear Mountain Circle was reduced to a swamp. 16 hikers  were rescued from the Appalachian Trail thanks to the efforts of the Stony Point  Volunteer Ambulance Corps. Desiree’ Leone-Stoll, the county EMS Coordinator and president of the Stony Point Ambulance Corps, stated that the trail used to reach the hikers was washed out before ambulance workers were able to descend from the mountain, leaving the volunteers stranded for four hours as they treated two critically injured hikers. Both hikers remain in critical condition and are being treated at Westchester Medical center. Leone-Stoll thanked the Nanuet, Spring Hill, and Haverstraw ambulance corps for covering Stony Point while  it’s own crews treated and evacuated those trapped on the trail.

As local leaders toured the devastation on Monday, they expressed gratitude for the emergency responders for their heroic efforts and emphasized the resilience of their constituents. 

Stony Point Supervisor Jim Monghan said “ we had an overwhelming quick response from all our emergency  services and our elected officials, these (rescue operations) could not have been done Wayne Hose firefighers, our EMT’s, and our police. I want to commend them for the great job that they did.”

Congresman Mike Lawler (R 14) and County Executive Ed Day are now requesting disaster assistance funds from the state and federal government as Rockland works to reverse the substantial damage to both infrastructure and private property wrought by the flash flood. 

“After spending the day touring the district, observing damage, and speaking with local elected officials and impacted homeowners alike, it’s emphatically clear that Governor Hochul must request a major disaster declaration from the federal government,” said Lawler. “Once requested, President Biden must immediately approve it. Our hard-hit Hudson Valley communities can’t wait a second longer. FEMA is needed on the ground and federal dollars will be needed long after this storm has passed”

On Tuesday morning, County officials announced that Route 210 in Stony Point, Route 210 from Cedar Flats Road to Old Route 210, Cedar Flats Road from Route 210 to PIP Entrance, and Bulsontown Road at Mott Farm Road intersection have been reopened.

“We extend our sincere appreciation to the public works staff, emergency responders, and road maintenance teams who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and professionalism throughout this challenging period,” said County Executive Ed Day. “Their relentless efforts have enabled us to restore normalcy to our community sooner than anticipated.”

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