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Heavy rain, hail, and thunderstorms hammer Finger Lakes same day drought watch is expanded

Despite some heavy rain for parts of the Finger Lakes- including Cayuga, Ontario, Livingston, Seneca, and Wayne counties, Gov. Kathy Hochul has directed the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to extend its drought watch across the region.

While Wayne County is currently excluded from the Drought Watch, all other counties in the region were included. The updated map and announcement came the same afternoon as showers and thunderstorms peppered the region.

Current drought watch map from the NYSDEC.

“Recent rains across the state were not enough to address the dry conditions that have persisted this year,” Hochul said in the announcement. “Local water restrictions and educating residents about how to help conserve our water resources will be crucial steps to help prevent a more severe shortage should conditions worsen.”

Thunderstorms pack a punch on Tuesday

The storms were not expected to drop as much rain as they did. The storms were also not expected to be as widespread as they wound up being.

There weren’t any reports of damage throughout the area, but plenty of ponding on area roads and hail.