10:15am: Photos of flooding in Livingston Manor taken by the Liberty Independent added to this post. Go to the Liberty Independent page for continuous updates, or see our live blog coverage of the storm, to which they are contributing.
9:30am: A state of emergency has been declared in the town of Rockland, which encompasses Roscoe and Livingston Manor, according to Sullivan County manager David Fanslau. Shelters are open in Roscoe at the Roscoe School, and the Presbyterian Church in Livingston Manor. But there is also a travel restriction in effect that urges people to stay off the roads unless they really need to leave.
From the county website:
At 6:25 AM the Roundout Creek at Lowes Corners has exceeded the flood stage of 6.5 feet. The Roundout Creek will continue to rise and crest between 8 and 10 feet by mid to late morning before receding. Other small streams and creeks are expected to spill their banks this morning as heavy rains from Hurricane Irene continue to pound the Catskills region. Expect the rains to taper down by early afternoon.
Do not drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. Most flooding deaths occur in automobiles. Turn around don’t drown! Those living, working, or driving in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop. Residents living along streams and creeks should take immediate precautions to protect life and property. Do not attempt to cross swiftly flowing waters or waters of unknown depth by foot or by automobile. Do not underestimate the power of flood waters. Only a few inches of rapidly flowing water can quickly carry away your vehicle.
The Town of Rockland is experiencing flooding and power outages. A voluntary evacuation has commenced in the low-lying areas. Shelters are now open in Roscoe at the Roscoe School, and the Presbyterian Church in Livingston Manor. Local Fire Departments are assisting and local and County DPW is addressing downed trees to clear roadways.
Fanslau is also tweeting that only emergency responders should be driving in Sullivan County, and that Rte. 17 between exits 106 and 105 is closed:
State Route 17 closed in both directions between Exits 106 and 105 due to flooding.