Flash Flooding impacting Western New York

Jul 13, 2017

POSTED 12:30 p.m.: Flash flooding has closed roads and damaged area buildings around Western New York. Buffalo Fire reported a number of swift water recoveries at underpasses, as motorists were urged to use caution with and not drive through rising waters.

The National Weather Services issued a Flash Flood Warning until 1:45 p.m. for Buffalo northward and until 2:15 p.m. for West Seneca south through the Boston area. A Flash Flood Watch was issued for the rest of Western New York until 5 p.m.

Up to 2 inches of rain fell in the morning and another inch was expected through 1 p.m. The NWS said affected by flooding are Lackawanna, West Seneca, Hamburg, East Aurora, Warsaw, Varysburg, Geneseo and Dansville. That includes travel on the I-90 between Exits 54 (Route 400) and 57 (East Aurora/Hamburg).

Multiple accidents were reported by noon, including on the 190 southbound beyond Exit 3 (Seneca Street) and Route 33 westbound at Harlem Road.

Police reported road closures including:

  • Route 33 westbound from Genesee Street in Cheektowaga to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport
  • I-90 between Exit 52A (William Street) and Exit 52 (Walden Avenue)
  • Route 277 from Como Park Boulevard to Walden Avenue in Cheektowaga
  • Transit Road from Route 20 in Orchard Park to Walden in Depew
  • Walden Ave from Dick Road to Transit Road in Depew
  • Route 240 from Ridge Road in West Seneca to Slade Avenue in Orchard Park
  • Portions of Sheldon Avenue and Richmond Avenue in Lancaster
  • Back Creek between Mill Road in Aurora and Rice Road in Elma

The Erie County Department of Public Works reported six inches of water running over Lewis Road, just north of Blanchard. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz also reported flooding in the basements of multiple county-owned buildings, including 3-4 floors of Erie County Social Services located at 478 Main Street. County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw tweeted pictures of county workers cleaning up flooding at the Rath Building in downtown Buffalo.

Bridges and underpasses were affected, at one time delaying traffic across the Peace Bridge and Lewiston-Queenston Bridge up to 25 minutes. The Buffalo Niagara International Airport advised drivers to use alternate routes other than the Kensington Expressway to the airport, as flooding on the Kensington, Genesee and Cayuga Street was causing traffic delays.