As Storm Fades, Fears of Flooding Emerge

02.01.19 | Bob Price

This week's winter storm is coming to a merciful close, but could rising temperatures spell trouble for the region next week? Local officials are certainly concerned.

"Next week there will be a warmup," said Mayor Byron Brown. "We're expecting one day next week to see temperatures potentially increased to the 50's; that could be a potential problem that will create flooding concerns."

Public Works Commissioner Steve Stepniak says the city has been monitoring the situation.

"It's been something we've been looking at for while, as we knew those temperatures were going to increase," said Stepniak. "The benefit of that is that we lose some of the snow pack we have out there that we need to lose, but there's a little bit of ice jamming in there now that was left over from the prior meltdown."

However, Stepniak did note that there's a plan in place.

"We will have crews on that 24/7 to monitor like we always do, report instantly to the news if there's any issues," he said. "We work with police and fire on making sure the residents are safe in those areas, and I feel very confident that we're going to have a situation that's going to be well-monitored, and we'll get that detail out to you as it happens."

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke on the flooding possibility, and she said the state is ready to assist Western New York.

"We're extremely concerned about flooding, and this is something you just don't know whether the ice is going to jam in certain areas, what's going to occur, but we know the hotspots - the areas that have been problematic in the past - and that's why we're being proactive by getting water pumps out there and crews out there moving debris in the places where there are traditionally backups," said Hochul. "The governor talked about this saying if there's any municipalities that want assistance from the state, whether it's getting a quick turnaround for a DEC permit to be able to take certain proactive measures, we'll be there to help you because we do not want this to continue into more of a multi-day event than it should be."