WEST SENECA, NY (WIVB) – Several local municipalities are taking steps to prepare for possible ice jam flooding as temperatures rise and with forecasts of rain and snow.
Brian Adams, West Seneca’s road superintendent, said there will be a meeting Thursday with local city officials to coordinate plans for potential flooding.
Adams says the city will prepare sandbags on Thursday and deploy water pumps to flood-prone areas. Road crews have already cleared the snow from the storm drains.
In Buffalo, the fireboat Edward Cotter was used by the Buffalo Fire Department to break ice from the Erie Basin Marina and along the Buffalo River. Police divers were used to cut around 150 triangles into the ice, to allow the water to drain away. In Cheektowaga, road crews are also busy clearing snow from storm sewers.
“Knowing this thaw was coming, but we also have to worry about Thursday night and Friday with more snow coming, so we targeted all the receptors and drains,” said Mark Wegner, Cheektowaga Highway Superintendent. .
Emergency responders will focus on gauging stations and visually inspect water levels.
“We have our whole highway department, it’s 50 guys and we’re looking at 790 streets that belong to the city, we’re not on county or state roads, but it all fits together,” Wegner said.
Jeff Preval is an award-winning presenter and journalist who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.