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Northern Westchester, Rockland, Putnam Counties Under Flood Watch; New FEMA Center Opens In White Plains

Sprain Parkway (credit: Paul Murnane/WCBS 880)

Sprain Parkway (credit: Paul Murnane/WCBS 880)

YONKERS, NY (CBSNewYork/AP) – Rockland, Putnam and northern Westchester counties are under a flood watch until noon Wednesday as more rains moves through the Tri-State area.

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The National Weather Service says an additional inch of rain is expected to fall Wednesday morning and that flooding along roads and low-lying areas may occur.

The rain has already caused some road closures in Westchester due to flooding.

Sections of the Bronx River, Hutchinson River, Saw Mill River and Sprain Brook parkways were closed, Westchester County police reported.

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The flooding, combined with accidents on the Saw Mill Parkway, Interstate 287 and I-684, detoured drivers onto local roads, which quickly jammed in White Plains, Eastchester, Mount Vernon and elsewhere.

Traffic was creeping down Central Avenue in Yonkers with countless cars that were forced off the Sprain.

“All we can do is try to clear any floods,” said one road crew worker. “If anything gets blocked, we have to block the ramps, make sure nobody gets hurt, runs through there, gets their car stuck or anything.”

In Rockland County, Route 303 was closed between Bradley Hill Road in Orangetown and West Nyack.

Meanwhile, FEMA announced Tuesday that a new center was opened at the Westchester County Center in White Plains to help residents and businesses that suffered losses from Hurricane Irene and subsequent flooding.

New York state agencies will join FEMA to provide services to the public at the centers.

The Small Business Administration will also provide information about low-interest loans to repair or replace damaged property.

Leo Caterinee’s Elmsford restaurant has been in business for 14 years. He remodeled last December in time for flooding last spring and then from Irene.

“We’re not sure what the extent of our damage is because we’re still actually replacing things,” said Caterinee.

County Executive Rob Astorino says you can apply for FEMA assistance over the phone at 800-621-3362 or at www.disasterassistance.gov.

“People primarily are going to use their own insurance,” said Astorino. “What’s not covered could potentially be picked up by federal government or assistance.”

The center will remain open seven days a week until 8 p.m.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)