Only minor damage reported, despite busy day for city agencies responding to flooding

Jul 13, 2017

From rescues to moves of personnel and equipment, multiple agencies in the City of Buffalo spent the day dealing with the results of heavy rains and flooding.

According to Mayor Byron Brown, when water began to rise in Delaware Park, staff from the Olmstead Parks Conservancy jumped into action to protect one of the city’s newly renovated venues – the Marcy Casino.

“Individuals at Marcy acted very quickly to remove equipment and materials from the basement of the Casino, where there was flooding,” said Brown. “While there was some damage, it was minor.”

Credit Erie County

None of the damage affected the renovations at the building, which was formerly a boathouse. Downtown, other buildings saw similar issues.

“There was some flooding at the Buffalo City Court in the area where we have the City of Buffalo holding center facility,” said Brown. “It was necessary to relocate three prisoners who were in the holding facility to the county holding center.”

Out on city streets, the fire department responded to numerous calls, including five that required swift-water rescues. Those rescues saved seven individuals who were trapped in their cars.

“One was a very serious rescue where the water was almost up to the roof of the vehicle,” Brown said. “The Sewer Authority has responded to a number of the viaducts where we have seen flooding. There have been a couple of areas where flooding has been as high as four to five feet.”

Brown estimates the motorists who became trapped simply got stuck in rising waters. While no one suffered any injuries during the rescues, Brown is reminding residents to use common sense in their travels.

“If you are approaching an area where you see standing water, where it looks like the water is pretty deep, not to try to drive through it. Turn around and drive in the other direction.”

Brown said calculations of the cost of damage to city property are underway, but initial assessments indicate that, like the Casino, damage is minor. Brown credits the proactive responses by city staff.