Friday, February 18, 2022

Attica braces for potential flooding as a sudden thaw makes a mess
in the GLOW region

Traffic crosses over a flooded section of highway on Route 19A in Genesee Falls.

Village residents were asked Thursday night to be on the alert for potential evacuations as an ice jam threatened to flood portions of downtown.

The Attica Fire Department issued the advisory about 6 p.m. on its Facebook page as they monitored the situation. They were worried the ice jam on Tonawanda Creek could break and cause significant flooding near Water Street, North Washington, the lower half of North Street and the Exchange Street areas.

The warning arrived after a day of near 50-degree temperatures and rains which contributed to a major snowmelt throughout the GLOW region. Temperatures were about 47 degrees as of 3 p.m. And even by February standards, the day couldn’t have been much drearier. Gray skies mixed with rain, snowmelt, mud and swollen waterways to create messes throughout the region.

Mist and fog formed over creeks and other waterways in Wyoming County, while snowmelt washed over portions of routes 19 and 19A in Middlebury, Gainesville and Genesee Falls. The Genesee River was similarly swollen in Portageville.

The snowmelt also contributed to sewage discharges in Perry, Albion and Holley, according to alerts issued by state officials. The number of gallons spilled wasn’t known as of press time Thursday night, but the spillage in each case was described as partially treated without disinfection.

Affected waterways included the Silver Lake Outlet, and the east and west branches of Sandy Creek.

Cold winter temperatures were then expected to return just as quickly Thursday night creating the potential for flash freezing and treacherous driving conditions. A flood warning was in effect for Wyoming and Genesee counties, while Orleans County was under a winter storm warning until Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo. Much of the GLOW region was expected to remain under a flood watch through this evening.

The slew of flood warnings included:

■ The Genesee River at Wellsville affecting Wyoming, Livingston and Allegany counties.

■ The Genesee River at Portageville affecting Wyoming, Livingston and Allegany counties.

■ Tonawanda Creek at Attica and Batavia affecting Wyoming, Erie, Niagara and Genesee counties.

■ The Genesee River including Wellsville, Portageville, Mount Morris Dam, Avon, Rochester, Honeoye Falls

A flood warning is in effect to Saturday morning for the Tonawanda Creek at Batavia. Flood stage is 9 feet, which would bring some flooding to Batavia, possibly affecting Kibbe Park, Walnut Street, and Law Street.

Flooding in rural areas of Alexander and the lowlands of the Alabama Swamps with some road closures is also likely, according to the Weather Service.

At 11 a.m. Thursday, the creek was at 2.9 feet. The creek was expected to rise above flood stage this morning, cresting early this afternoon at 9.7 feet before falling below flood stage early Saturday morning.

Regional Editor Ben Beagle contributed to this story.

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