NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (PIX11) — The inside of New Rochelle High School took on water during Friday’s heavy rainfall.
“Flooding. Everything. Inside the school. The library, probably pool, gym rooms, everything on the lower floor. The walls were leaking,” said student Savyon Shemuel.
The school was forced to close, sending evacuated students home and wet, but ready for the weekend.
Getting home was a real challenge. Diana was standing on high ground across the street from the high school. Her kids struggled to make it across a flooded North Avenue.
“I think they’re trying to find a strategic way to get through the water. I tried to go all the way around to get them — that wasn’t happening. And my car would definitely get stuck in that water,” said Diana, who lives with her family in New Rochelle.
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s declaration of a state of emergency triggered similar local level declarations across Westchester and Rockland counties.
Flash flooding caught drivers by surprise, leading to about 20 emergency water rescues by late Friday afternoon.
“It’s been a little hectic trying to coordinate with police and respond to the calls as they come in, people trapped in their car,” said New Rochelle Fire Commissioner Andrew Sandor.
“It was crazy. There were announcements, and I was stuck in my band room for like two-and-a-half periods. It’s crazy becuase it reminds me of a few years ago when it go flooded,” said New Rochelle High School student Evan O’Hare.
O’Hare was talking about Hurricane Ida, which flooded roads and homes and buildings across the tri-state area, including New Rochelle High School.
First responders in New Rochelle said Friday’s storm isn’t as bad, but given the amount of rain that fell in such a short period of time, there just isn’t enough infrastructure in place to handle this much water.
“We tried this morning to just keep up with our system. But eventually it’s going to overcome. We’re asking everyone just to be careful out there. There’s going to be manhole coves that are gone and off. It’s going to be a long event,” said New Rochelle Public Works Commissioner Wilfredo Melendez.