Archive

As snow melts, floods a growing concern in Buffalo | TribLIVE.com
News

As snow melts, floods a growing concern in Buffalo

The Associated Press
WintryWeatherJPEG04d68
Chris Swanson looks for help digging out at his home in Hamburg, N.Y., on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. A snowfall that brought huge drifts and closed roads in the Buffalo area finally ended Friday, yet residents still couldn't breathe easy, as the looming threat of rain and higher temperatures through the weekend and beyond raised the possibility of floods and more roofs collapsing under the heavy loads.

BUFFALO — Residents of western New York may soon have to worry about the water in their basements as well as the snow on their roofs.

After a three-day onslaught that dumped a historic 7 feet of snow on the Buffalo area and killed at least 12 people, the sun came out Friday, but so did predictions of flooding caused by rain, temperatures up to 60 degrees and blocked catch basins.

“We are preparing now for more flooding than we’ve seen in a long, long time,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “We still have that challenge to look forward to.” Cuomo said the state was sending in pumps, boats, helicopters and high-axle vehicles that can operate in 4 to 5 feet of water.

“If we’re lucky, we won’t need any of it,” he said. “But prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for Sunday to Wednesday.

The snow remained a huge challenge. Officials were urging people to put off nonessential travel so snow removal efforts could progress. Cuomo reopened a 132-mile stretch of the state Thruway that had been closed since Tuesday, but several exit ramps remained closed along the westernmost 75 miles.

Local travel bans were beginning to be lifted Friday so delivery trucks could bring in food and other essentials to depleted supermarkets, the governor said.

Two more deaths were announced. A 50-year-old man was found Friday morning in his car, which was buried in snow in Cheektowaga, police said. One elderly resident of a nursing home, also in Cheektowaga, died after it was evacuated amid concerns of a roof collapse, a spokeswoman for the home said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.