Cleanup continues in Lancaster following flooding

LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB) – Life is starting to return to normal in areas hit hard by flash flooding Thursday after inches of rain fell in parts of the region.

The Cayuga Creek in Lancaster rose to a little over 11 feet, which is considered moderate flooding. Action stage is at 6 feet, and the creek didn’t fall below that level until around 5:30 a.m. Friday.

“I’ve lived here 52 years. I’ve never seen it like this,” said one Lancaster resident Norene Jerome, who came out to survey the water Friday.

The flooding attracted large crowds to Como Lake Park Thursday afternoon and evening. Many wanted to get pictures of the water at a level it hadn’t been since 1978.

Others, like Jerome, waited until things started to dry out Friday to get their first looks. “It’s amazing,” she told News 4. “I see all the debris stuff and I thought, ‘Oh, I’ve never seen this before!'”

Good Samaritan Cornelius Thill spent part of the morning cleaning up the debris near Como Park, as well as other litter around the area.

“I take a walk a walk every morning for an hour in a different part of the village and pick up litter,” he explained.

He filled three bags of debris and litter within a short time.

Around the area, clean up efforts were in full force early in the day.

Village crews were using street sweepers to clear debris that was swept onto the roads by the water. Crews were also out in Como Park taking down the caution tape put around the flooded areas Thursday.

Some flooded areas remain on greens at the nearby country club, where it’s more of a waiting game for the course to dry up.

Homeowners were also drying out flooded basements Friday and cleaning up muddy messes.

At the BellTower Village Condominiums, residents were back in their homes after they had to be evacuated by boat Thursday morning. Clean up crews were on site Friday.

Lancaster Town crews fanned out across the area as the cleanup continued to make sure all the flood water that’s left has somewhere to go. “We didn’t have a lot of damage, we really didn’t,” said Daniel Amatura, Town of Lancaster Highway Superintendent. “We have a lot of cleanup to do today.”

“I’ll get my crews out cleaning up making sure all the catch basins are open and stuff like that,” Amatura told News 4. “We have a lot of issues with the backyard drainage also. Unfortunately, people do landscaping back there and heavy rains block things up so we’ll be out cleaning that up today too.”

But, town crews can’t make it to every back yard the town highway superintendent is asking homeowners to help. “We have drainage pipes back there, we have grates back there, they need to be cleaned off, so water does drain when it happens again,” Amatura said.

Even with the Cayuga Creek now below action stage, it could take a little while for all the flood water to clear out.

More rain could cause additional problems with puddles and ponding in low lying areas.

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