Buffalo Snow Brings New Potential Problem: Flooding [Video]

The freak lake effect snow that hit the Buffalo area is just one weather problem that area residents will have to deal with. Buffalo residents are bracing for the next, potentially more dangerous issue: flooding.

As reported by the Inquisitr, the Buffalo area has seen record snow in the past week. Now that the snow has stopped, Buffalo residents have begun digging out. But mother nature is not done with western New York yet. USA Today reports that there is a flood watch for the Buffalo area, in effect through Wednesday.

The seven feet of snow that fell on Buffalo will begin to melt, as temperatures in the region climb into the 60s over the next few days. In addition, there is rain on the way. Snow on roofs will become heavier as it melts and compacts. The rain that is in the forecast for the Buffalo area through Tuesday will add to the weight, and roof collapses are a definite possibility.

According to Newsday, meteorologist Jon Hitchcock says that leaves blocking storm drains could add to the flooding problem. Mid-November is early for significant snow, even in Buffalo. That means that many people may not have finished their fall cleanup of leaves and debris. Some of those leaves that may be covering drains will slow drainage of the snow melt and rain.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo said the state is ready to aid the Buffalo area as the snow melts, and basements and low-lying areas begin to flood. The governor said that the state was sending pumps, helicopters, boats, and vehicles that can operate in four to five feet of water, to Buffalo.

“We are preparing now for more flooding than we’ve seen in a long, long time. If we’re lucky we won’t need any of it. But prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”

Erie County Executive Marc Poloncarz told the New York Daily News that the worst of the flooding is expected from Sunday through Tuesday. He said that low lying areas could expect to deal with as much as five to six feet of water. Poloncarz also told reporters that this year’s Buffalo snow reminded some of the great storm of 1977. But, he said that this storm affected a smaller area than the previous storm, although many communities were hit harder than they were in 1977.

The Daily News reports that the New York State Thruway was scheduled to reopen in the are east of Buffalo on Friday. Governor Cuomo said, however, that even though the highway was being reopened, it was still dangerous to go out. The road was being reopened mainly to allow stranded vehicles to be removed, and to allow deliveries of health care products, as well as allowing food to be delivered to supermarkets.

Just as the region was hoping to get back to normal, Buffalo area residents are bracing for their next round of problems, as the great Buffalo snow of 2014 threatens to become the great Buffalo flood.

[Image via WIVB]