National Guardsmen invade West Seneca to prevent floods

WEST SENECA (WIVB) — It wasn’t a week ago that boots hit the ground in western New York. Army and Air national guardsmen took to heavy equipment to plow out the snow inundated area. Those same troops are now invading Lexington Green in West Seneca with a new preventative goal.

Fifty troops took their equipment to one of the hardest hit snow zones Sunday night, and they worked for hours clearing snow from houses, loading 1000 sandbags to help the low-lying area combat potential floods.

Captain Jared Kausner said his troops have been working around the clock to aid the area.

“Our guys are motivated. They’re doing the right thing,” he said. “Their motivation alone is keeping us going, and progress has been going good so far.”

Homeowners in Lexington Green are very familiar with flooding. Last winter the neighborhood experienced a flood which damaged a number of houses. Jim Quinn said he’s monitoring the sump pump in his home every 30 minutes to avoid revisiting the past.

“It’s not out of fear, I want to know when the water’s coming in,” Quinn said.

Water levels wildly fluctuated in Buffalo’s creeks Sunday. One creek in a span of two hours rose to water levels of 11 feet and when an ice dam broke down dropped down to five feet.

“Through my sump pump, and every way it could get into the house,” Quinn said of the last flood. “It was running down the walls in the basement when I was down there.”

Residents of the small community are appreciative now that they’re getting help. They say the help may prevent more loss of property.

“We are just very thankful for all the support we’ve been receiving,” Renee Miceli, a homeowner, said. “It’s just awful to think this might happen again,”

The guard spent a chunk of the day clearing snow off the grass in order to get tightly packed sandbag walls.

“I can’t come up with the words to express the gratitude that I’m feeling for the National Guardsmen for coming out to sandbag our windows,” Larry Miceli said while teary-eyed.

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