Caroline Murray/Recorder Staff
Amsterdam Police Department Officer Angie Kercado-Clymer’s patrol car caught in the middle of a flood Tuesday at the end of Broad Street in the Southside of the city
By NICOLE ANTONUCCI and CAROLINE MURRAY
Flooding, buckling roads and power outages were reported as a result of the thunderstorms that passed through the area Tuesday afternoon.
Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Jeffery Smith said the Montgomery County Office Building was struck by lightening and caused half the phones to go off-line.
“We believe the radio tower on the top of the building was struck but the only thing it affected was the county phones,” Smith said. “About half of the phones are working.”
Several areas in the county experienced flooding including the city of Amsterdam where man hole covers popped up throughout the area, according to police scanner reports.
Amsterdam Police Department Officer Angie Kercado-Clymer was caught in the midst of the thunderstorm when she tried to barrel through a flooded area at the end of Broad Street in the southside of the city.
Kercado-Clymer said she did not realize how deep the water was and thought her patrol car would make it through the murky pool of water.
Around 4 p.m., her car stalled and eventually was stuck in the giant puddle. She was able to make it out of the flooded area without getting injured or wet.
She refused to disclose how she avoided the three-to-four foot deep puddle.
"At least let that be a mystery," Kercado-Clymer said.
APD officer Carl Rust picked up Kercado-Clymer. The two officers waited as Vern's Auto Body and Sales tow truck driver Larry Putman towed the car out of the water.
Putman had to wait for the water to drain and the flood to subside before hauling the patrol car out of the area.
Putman said Tuesday was not his first time bailing a patrol car from a flooded area and believed Kercado-Clymer's car was totaled.
Residents of Broad Street came out of their homes to express frustration over the flood, including Larry Chase of 32 Broad St., who said every time a thunderstorm occurs the road floods.
Chase blamed the city for inferior sewer drains, which are situated behind two stone walls just 50 feet from Dave's Landscaping.
"How are emergency vehicles supposed to get through here?" Chase said.
Amsterdam Department of Public Works arrived on scene about 20 minutes later to clean up the area.
DPW employee Phil Bracchi said Broad Street's flooding is caused by mulch and grass shavings that clog up the drains.
Bracchi said it was not the city's fault.
"We can't control what goes in there," he said.
Other incidents in the city included a buckling road at the intersection of Vrooman and Teller Street.
Fort Johnson village Fire Department reported flooding on Upper Van Dyke Avenue and McDonald Drive, which was caused to backups in the stormwater drains.
Firefighter Martha Bastini said the water began to go down after they unclogged the drains.
A flash flood warning was issued by the National Weather Service for the area until 9 p.m. this evening.
Smith said the OEM department will continue monitoring the situation throughout the night.