NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Niagara Gorge is a very popular spot for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, but Friday's severe storms have knocked down trees and partially washed out some of the trails.
Some of the most breathtaking views of the Niagara River can be seen from the upper and lower gorge trails. State parks workers are making substantial progress cleaning up Mother Nature's mess.
State Parks General Manager Tom Watt said, "It was trees down everywhere. What the storm did was loosen up the footing in a lot of areas, in addition to some mudslides, trees across that you might have to climb over or duck under."
The lower trail, which runs along the river, suffered the most damage. Many trees are down and portions of trails washed out in some places.
Despite mud and rock slides across the trails and stairs, hikers are trying to make the most of it.
Jenna Ertel said, "There was a lot of broken trees. You had to duck under, crawl through. It's a little dangerous."
Some areas are passable, while others are potentially dangerous.
Jenny Lute said, "You had to duck in between the tree, which was kind of weird because if you went in between this way, you'd hit your head, so you had to cut underneath it."
Parks workers have already cleared away some big trees, ones that were actually uprooted by the storm, but there's still much work to be done over the next several weeks. Watt says the focus right now is to get the lower gorge trail passable.
"It's open, but please use caution and a little common sense. If you come across an area that looks loose or that you have to precariously climb around, give it a thought about what's there and what your abilities are," Watt urged.
At least four fire companies responded to a large house fire in Blasdell.
Buffalo Police have arrested 26-year-old Nicholas Finnegan of South Buffalo and charged him with pushing Russ Ross to his death.
The Niagara County Sheriff's is on the scene of a suspected meth lab in Cambria.
Police say there were 32 burglaries, 20 in Albion, five in Medina, four in Oakfield and three in the City of Lockport.
Berry admitted filing 122 false federal income tax returns for people who had died. He must pay restitution for the stolen money.
Six-year-old Nya Ricks was chosen to light Roswell Park Cancer Institute's Tree of Hope Friday night.