BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Right now about 900,000 people are without power in New York State.
Even with all of the advance warning and all of the preparation New York State went through, Hurricane Irene is proving difficult to keep up with.
We've been in touch Sunday afternoon with some of the folks who are in the thick of things.
From Long Island to the Hudson Valley and beyond. Hurricane Irene has clobbered New York State with a foot of rain, more in some places.
Dennis Michalski of the NYS Emergency Services said, "This has been a massive, a large, a huge event. I mean, going from the tip of Long Island all the way up the eastern edge of the state, going right up to the northern border; right now going out to the central part of the state, it's huge."
>>>Check a gallery of photos from when Irene hit New York .
Irene's torrential downpours have caused severe flooding in Westchester County, the Catskills, and the capital region, and have forced the Thruway Authority to close a portion of I-87.
As they've been trying to clean up debris today, first responders have also had to pluck people from their flooded houses.
Dep. Chief Pat Murray said, "Hopefully, as soon as the rain ends, we're going to start on pump-outs. All night long, we mitigated situations where there was wires down and things. We take them off, we're waiting for ConEdison, the utility company. But all the people on the street were notified by the police department to evacuate early; some chose to stay, and then this is what happens."
Some 13,000 people spent the overnight hours in shelters across the Empire State, and more people are expected to seek shelter today.
According to the State Division of Emergency Services, 936,000 households are without power, that's about two million people, ten percent of the state's population.
The full extent of the damage isn't known yet, because high winds and flooding are still preventing utility crews from getting out and surveying many of the affected areas.
The president has declared a federal emergency disaster in the five Burroughs of New York City and all of Long Island.
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