Sunset Bay prepares for potential flooding

SUNSET BAY, N.Y. (WIVB) – People in Sunset Bay spent Thursday preparing for possible flooding. They’re concerned that a major ice jam on Cattaraugus Creek could give way.

That ice jam is set up about five miles east of Sunset Bay, in Versailles, Cattaraugus County. If it breaks up, all of the ice and water behind it could rush into the seasonal community in Chautauqua County.

Since a lot of the residents in Sunset Bay are seasonal, the people who were in town Thursday were picking up the slack.

“They all know Sam is here I guess,” said Sam Bova, who has received several text messages from neighbors asking for updates. “They call me from Florida and ask me what’s going on. A lot of them have left the bay in the morning and went to work. They’re concerned about what’s going on while they’re away. They have pets here. They don’t want to worry about getting back into the bay, because the local authorities will shut down the bay if it’s flooded.”

Jennifer Zlotnick just moved to Sunset Bay from Amherst. This is her first winter there, and she’s heard stories about the flooding thaws can bring.

“I’m kind of scared, but it’s something that we have to live with being down here,” Zlotnick said. “We enjoy it during the summer, but right now it’s a little scary.”

Zlotnick has been preparing for this day since early fall. That’s when she gathered up sand from the beach to stack up and lay out to protect her property.

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