By Martin Wilbur
Westchester County was recovering from the onslaught of the remnants of deadly Hurricane Ida, which Wednesday night left parkways and local roads flooded requiring emergency responders to make more than 200 rescues from cars and homes.
County Executive George Latimer declared a state of emergency at about 8 a.m. Thursday morning.
The tropical system, which dumped up to 10 inches of rain, was responsible for at least one confirmed death in the county.
Latimer said rivers and creeks that were swollen and saturated ground from Hurricane Henri, which hit the area on Aug. 22 and 23, made the deluge more serious because the water couldn’t be absorbed.
“This storm hit us hard; it hit us harder than Hurricane Henri did, and we spent more time talking about Henri in the aftermath because the first landfall of Henri came in this area of the country,” Latimer said.
The Bronx River Parkway from White Plains south to Bronxville remained closed through Thursday as were stretches of the Saw Mill Parkway in Pleasantville and Thornwood and other spots down to Yonkers. Portions of the Sprain Brook and Hutchinson parkways had also been closed.
Numerous local, county and state routes were under water as well, particularly those near streams and rivers.
Con Edison had reported earlier Thursday morning about 17,000 of its customers in Westchester County were without power, although by about 11 a.m. that number had been reduced by 8,200, mostly in communities in the southern part of the county, including the Village of Mamaroneck, Yonkers, Rye and New Rochelle. Greenburgh and North Castle were also among the hardest hit municipalities. About 600 NYSEG customers in the northeast part of the county also had no power.
North Castle Supervisor Michael Schiliro said that North Castle had more than 1,100 outages throughout the town, including at least 20 trouble spots. Downtown Armonk was seriously affected because a main feed from Route 120 near Nannahagan Road was damaged and needed repair. By 9 p.m. Thursday, outages n North Castle were reduced to 238, he said.
Con Edison projected that 95 percent of customers who lost power would be restored by Friday night at midnight.
Bedford, Byram Hills and the Chappaqua school districts were among the districts that had delayed openings Thursday morning and Scarsdale public schools were closed.
Confirmed rainfall totals included Mount Kisco receiving 8.46 inches, New Rochelle 7.79 inches and Tarrytown 6.96 inches.
Metro-North shut down all three of its lines but Bee-Line bus service was expected to return at about noon with some detoured routes. As of Thursday evening, Bee-Line service was still experiencing some delays.
Latimer said he was hopeful that most of the roads that remained closed early Thursday afternoon would be reopened. But he urged residents to stay off the roads unless traveling is necessary.
“As the water recedes and the weather is nice, we think that most of the county will be back to normal by the end of the day, but not all of it,” he said. “We encourage you if you don’t have to leave the house, if it’s not essential, try not to do that.”
U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand urged the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to quickly approve a disaster declaration for the 14-county area of New York City, Long Island and the lower and mid-Hudson Valley.