Debris clogs Buffalo’s waterways following flash floods

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Wood, tree branches, and debris washed up along the shore of the Black Rock Channel following Thursday’s flash floods.

“It really ranges from garbage and liter to like sticks and full size trees. Pulling trees off our moorings and our floating docks, it just took 20 minutes out of our day where the kids couldn’t go sailing,” said Peter Schiavoni, Buffalo Yacht Club Director.

Docks at the Buffalo Yacht Club are underwater, and the water isn’t as blue as usual.

“When the wind picks up the water moves with it pulling the debris so it really gets this dark muddy color to it,” said Schiavoni.

The Buffalo Yacht Club Director says the water level fluctuates on almost an hourly basis. Flash floods yesterday certainly didn’t help.

“Lake Erie is one of the shallowest Great Lakes so the water levels are really sensitive here in Lake Erie. We get a lot of storm surges. the wind pushes the water up, water level rises,” said Schiavoni.

The washed up trees and debris also pose a risk to boats.

“A lot times these logs and debris they’ll actually stay under the water like the Titanic situation so a lot of times you can only see a little bit of it then you’ll try to surpass it and the boats will hit whats under the water and really damage the boat,” said Schiavoni.

Though there’s a lot of it, the debris is expected to clear out on it’s own.

“A lot of times we get the east wind which pushes all the debris out. So usually we get a nice east breeze, pushes everything out and then current will take it away,” said Schiavoni. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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