The lower Hudson Valley in New York suffered catastrophic flooding due to a slow-moving storm system that dumped what was described as a “full summer’s” amount of rain in just a few short hours. Some estimates put the amount of rain that fell anywhere between eight to 10 inches. Several area fire, police and EMS agencies were quickly inundated with storm related calls, ranging from stranded motorists on flooded roadways, to hikers trapped on flooded trails in a nearby state park, to several homes being threatened with being washed away due to now swollen streams, to name a few. As the Stony Point Fire Department began operations, the Piermont Fire Department Dive Team, High Angle Rope Team and the Nyack Fire Department High Angle Rope Team were both requested to the scene on mutual aid to rescue an elderly man whose home was completely surrounded by rushing flood waters. Piermont divers made their way into the swift moving water, dodging debris being washed down from upstream and made contact with the elderly male. On land, the rope teams worked together to formulate a plan on how to best remove the homeowner as safely as possible. Eventually a high line and Stoke’s basket became the consensus among the rescuers. The heavy rain had subsided due to a small break in the storm while the operation was ongoing, allowing the water’s velocity to slow considerably as well as becoming shallower. With this improvement in conditions, the rescue plan was altered and a small boat was brought in to remove the homeowner. The man was brought to waiting EMS crews, who checked him and found him to be uninjured from his ordeal.

– Fire News photos by Kenny Flynn