A New York woman died when a monster flash flood wave ripped her home from the ground as Vermont is expected to be hit with up to six inches of rain overnight.
Pamela Nugent, 35, drowned while trying to flee her Highland Falls, New York, home with her dog Monday during catastrophic flooding. Rescue teams recovered her body from the bottom of a ravine.
Devastating rains have blocked roads and battered homes across the East Coast, with more damage expected in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Nugent, who recently became engaged to her partner before drowning in the horrific flood, was remembered by her neighbor Jessica Eshleman.
Eshleman told ABC7: ‘I’m still a bit in shock. I lost everything.’ She said Nugent, her fiancée and her father tried to reach higher ground.
She said: “And then they made it across, and I guess she got scared and panicked, tried to cross with the dog, it happened too suddenly.”
Pamela Nugent, 35, drowned while trying to flee her Highland Falls home with her dog Monday during catastrophic flooding.
An aerial view of Pamela Nugent’s neighborhood, where she died yesterday in a flood
Vermont State Police warned that flooding and torrential rains will wreak havoc in the state overnight Monday.
Another neighbor who knew Nugent said: ‘When someone dies, it’s a shame. The circumstances of how it happened, that makes it even worse.
Heavy rains from the storm drenched New York on Sunday, triggering flash flooding near West Point, where the military academy is located, and surrounding cities.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul warned yesterday that while the storm had passed, the damage was catastrophic.
“This was a terrifying and life-threatening experience,” he said, adding that he had spoken to the White House to request federal help.
She said of Nugent: “Her house was taking on too much water, she was with her dog and her fiancé literally saw her swept away.”
Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus said, “She was trying to ride out (the flood) with her dog and was overwhelmed by tidal waves.”
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said of Nugent: “Her house was drinking too much water, she was with her dog, and her fiancé literally watched her being taken away.”
Pamela Nugent with her fiance. He watched her be swept away by the test
A damaged car sits in part of a collapsed highway along Route 32 in the Hudson Valley near Cornwall, New York, Monday, July 10, 2023.
Jessica Eshleman, neighbor and friend of Pam Nugent
A general view of a flooded area, in Ludlow, Vermont
Footage from tonight showed Ludlow, Vermont, completely under water as roads turned into rivers amid the devastating torrent.
Millions of people in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine and Pennsylvania remain subject to flash flood warnings.
The epicenter of the flooding was in Hudson Valley, New York, on Monday, but Vermont is expected to be hardest hit through Tuesday.
Vermont State Police said in an alert: “Dangerous flooding continues this afternoon across most of Vermont.
‘Nearly three dozen state highways are closed due to high water, with more likely to close as rivers and streams continue to rise. This figure does not include urban roads.’
Footage from tonight showed Ludlow, Vermont, completely underwater as roads turned into rivers in the midst of the devastating torrent.
In a news release late Monday, the Vermont Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management said swiftwater rescue teams have been working “primarily in the cities of Londonderry, Weston, Bridgewater, Andover, Ludlow and Middlesex”.
Rivers are expected to peak overnight, they warned.
Dams in Jamaica and Townshend are expected to “release large amounts of water over their spillways” overnight.
Cars drive on the main road towards West Point after a ‘1000 year’ rain event flooded the riverside town, killing at least one person and destroying homes and roads.
Emergency crews went house to house yesterday in Stony Point, New York, looking for anyone who needed rescue. A woman drowned trying to get out of her home with her dog in Highland Falls, near West Point
In a dire prediction, the National Weather Service in Vermont said the storms could be “potentially catastrophic” and as bad as those brought by Hurricane Irene in 2011.
“Significant or potentially catastrophic widespread flash flooding is expected through Monday night, with possible impacts not seen since Irene,” the Weather Service said in a forecast.
Vermont State Police say roads have already been closed as a result of the flooding and more closures are expected.
“Severe and life-threatening flooding is occurring across much of Vermont today.
‘Emergency teams have carried out rescues in multiple communities.
“Flash flood warnings are in effect from the Massachusetts line to the Canadian border,” said an announcement on the force’s Twitter account.
At a news conference, Vermont Governor Phil Scott warned: “We haven’t seen rain like this since Irene and in some cases it will exceed that.”
Nineteen people have already been rescued by boat in Vermont.
In Burlington, Vermont, the ground has already received 300 percent of its normal precipitation in the last two weeks, making it a “high risk.”
Some southern cities of Londonderry and Ludlow are inaccessible, as is the city of Vermont.
Flood waters pour over the dam this morning on the Ottauquechee River near Simon Pearce in Quechee. Vermont State Police brace for widespread damage with record rains on the way
Flooding surrounds a parking lot, in Highland Falls, Orange County, New York, USA. The rain has passed the Empire State but the damage is widespread.
Workers from the camp in Plymouth are being evacuated and emergency experts are carefully monitoring dams across the state to prevent further flooding.
Hurricane Irene left 49 dead after crossing the Caribbean and the East Coast.
Sunday in New York Cornwall, which is located on the west bank of the Hudson River, has also declared a state of emergency.
Neuhaus said the town of Highland Falls, near West Point, was the scene of “an absolute war zone.”
Predicting that repairs to fix the ‘massive’ water damage would take months, he added; “It’s a difficult situation, many people are trying to make their way to help us.”
State Senator James Skoufis confirmed that “vital infrastructure and homes were leveled” during the catastrophic weather event.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day said six hikers had to be rescued from the surrounding flooded spot, as well as dozens of drivers, who were trapped in heavy downpours.
Day said, “Orange and Rockland County Fire Departments rescued 40 people from their cars in the long circle of hills at the top of Palisades Avenue.”