Although a break in freezing cold temperatures Saturday was a relief for some, it caused problems for others in Silver Creek and those traveling between Cassadaga and Fredonia.
According to New York State Police at Fredonia Trooper Edward Evanoff, who responded to flooding on Route 60 near Spoden Road in the town of Pomfret, ice jams had blocked a culvert which diverts water from one side of the road to a creek on the other side. This caused the culvert to clog and ice, water and debris to spill onto both lanes of the roadway.
"People are used to the road flooding there. It usually happens about twice a year, but I have never seen it this bad. When the ice flowed onto the road a couple other guys and I had to jump back to avoid it," Evanoff said.
OBSERVER Photo by Daniel Kohler
Several streets were evacuated in the village of Silver Creek due to ice jam flooding Saturday morning. Pictured is a portion of Rix Place.
State Police put up a road block at 9:30 a.m. and diverted traffic at the intersections with Route 83, Lower Spoden Road, Porter Road and Bard Road. The road block was in effect until 4 p.m.
Evanoff said there was no damage to property or vehicles but the New York State Department of Transportation responded to clean out the culvert and to repair the east shoulder of the road, which had been washed away.
Silver Creek also experienced ice jam flooding which led to some residents being evacuated around 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
According to Chautauqua County Emergency Services Department Director Julius Leone, water from Walnut Creek overflowed the banks and flooded Rix, Dana and Oliver places in Silver Creek. He said they also experienced some flooding on Central Avenue in front of the fire department.
"We used the county excavator and a second excavator to alleviate the ice jam in the creek. After that the water went down quickly. I would say it dropped three feet in one-and-a-half to two hours," he said.
An emergency shelter was set up at Silver Creek Central School as a precaution, but residents were allowed to return to their homes just after noon Saturday.
Leone said the Silver Creek Fire Department, Silver Creek Disaster Team and department of public works helped with the flooding and evacuation. He said they also received help from Hanover Center and Sunset Bay Fire departments.
National Weather Service in Buffalo Meteorologist David Zaff said as the temperatures dropped Saturday night the threat of flooding decreased.
Zaff said temperatures were in the 40s Saturday and under a half inch of rain fell. He said on and off precipitation will be the trend for the next week, but it will cool off for the weekend and lake effect snow is expected.
The Erie County Sheriff's Office sent out a press release warning residents living near Lake Erie to keep children away from ice near the shoreline due to the danger posed by melting ice.