Neighbors, town prepare for possible flooding

WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Neighbors in West Seneca who are still recovering from destructive flash flooding last month are hoping history doesn’t repeat itself.

Six weeks ago, Buffalo Creek spilled over its banks and into the streets, forcing residents to evacuate their homes. Many homeowners are still trying to recover from the damage they suffered then.

The significant warmup and rainfall expected on Thursday and Friday has Michelle Pikula and others anxiously watching the water level on the creek, just beyond their backyards.

“We’re very nervous. I’m scared,” she said. “The kitchen window looks over the creek, and I just stare at it. I’m worried about, there’s probably a 10- to 20-foot wall of ice that’s on the other side of the creek that just runs… And I don’t know what’s going to happen with that.”

West Seneca town officials take those concerns seriously, and are already taking steps to prevent ice jam flooding.

The Buffalo Police Underwater Recovery Team assisted them Wednesday with cutting triangle-shaped holes in the ice on both Cazenovia and Buffalo Creeks.

On the Buffalo River, the Edward M. Cotter was busy breaking up the ice as well.

Buffalo Fire Boat Captain Tom Bunk said, “We keep working the ice, keep is broke up so it flows. When the thaw comes and we’re getting a little bit of rain this week, everything will eventually flow into the river, which ends up in the lake. So we want to keep it so that it doesn’t form up and stack.”

Back on Lexington Green, some neighbors were taking preventative measures of their own, stacking sandbags to protect the homes of the elderly.

Dave Monolopolous said, “They can’t physically do it, so. We’ve got one of our neighbors coming right now, we’re going to put them around his windows; he suffered about nine feet of water damage to his house during the flood.”

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