Mon December 23, 2013
Flooding, power outages remain from weekend ice storm
A strange mix of warm weather and freezing rain has left much of the region scrambling this morning. More than 8,000 NYSEG and National Grid customers are without power, with much of that focused in Niagara and Orleans Counties.
At one point Sunday, nearly 65,000 were reportedly without electricity.
The Red Cross has opened an emergency shelter at the Rapids Fire Hall in Lockport as that community continues to recover from a weekend battle with winter weather.
A travel advisory remains in place for Lockport.
To add to the concerns, flood warnings for many of the region's creeks and streams continue.
"We've had a major flood event in Batavia," said Kirk Apffel of the National Weather Service in Buffalo.
A flood warning continues for Ellicott Creek near Williamsville, Tonawanda Creek at Batavia and the Allegheny River at Olean.
"It takes a very long time for the high flows to reach from Batavia to Rapids because it goes through some winding swamp land," Apffel said.
"Flooding will also gradually worsen as it approaches Rapids, North Amherst and gets closer to North Tonawanda.
"Water levels near Rapids tonight are expected to reach 15.7 feet. Flood stage is 12 feet; "Major" flood stage is 16 feet.
The flood warning for Tonawanda Creek near Rapids continues until Wednesday morning. At 9 a.m. Monday, the stage was at 13.3 feet and rising. Flood stage is 12 feet. It's expected to crest near 15.7 feet late Monday night.
There is widespread flooding in north Clarence, north Amherst, Royalton and Newstead.
Officials closed Route 93 near Fisk Road in Royalton Monday morning. Clarence Center Road is closed between Shimerville and Goodrich. Dodge Road is closed between Glen Oak and Transit. Millersport Highway and Tonawanda Creek Road are also closed to traffic.
Ransom Oaks in East Amherst is inundated with backwater into Ransom. But the travel advisories have been lifted in the towns of Amherst and Clarence.
There is serious flooding upstream into the Alabama Swamps in Oakfield, Royalton.
"We had a very strong frontal boundary and that boundary both focused precipitation and also brought some very warm air," Apffel said.
"That melted the snow we had. So, between the snow melt and the precipitation that created our flooding issues."