BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Western New York is no stranger to severe weather. After an already difficult start to the year, companies like Tony’s Tree Service believe people need to be extra careful.

Anthony Bartucca’s family has been in the tree removal business for three generations.

He said Saturday night’s high winds, buckets of rain and flooding are a recipe for falling trees.

“We go right in. We go marching into the eye of the storm,” Bartucca said. “What we’re concerned about today is we’ve gotten all this rain, now the ground is soft and all the soil around the root balls and the roots have all softened up and the stability for the root system is compromised.”

Bartucca said especially with this year’s wild weather, people should consider getting trees close to their homes inspected.

“You’ve got to remember that your homes are only made out of two-by-fours and plywood,” Bartucca added. “These limbs with the inertia and momentum, they can come crashing through these homes, and people can get seriously injured if not worse.”

In the Town of Hamburg, Route 5 is known to flood.

Town Emergency Manager Sean Crotty told News 4 there’s one thing working in their favor Saturday evening.

“The temperature is above freezing,” added Crotty. “Usually, it’s a lot more dangerous when the temperature is below freezing because that overspray then ends up freezing when it hits the roadway. So, that presents a good thing for us tonight. That’s one in our favor. We really work with the state D.O.T. to make sure that their roadway, Route 5 is safe. And then we get into the residential areas. Hoover Beach is one of them, that’s a little more low-lying along the lakeshore and we work with the neighbors and communicate with them to make sure they’re in a safe position.”

Crotty said if you encounter flooding in the roadway, don’t try to go through it, because you don’t how deep the water is or what’s beneath it.

He said although it’s been a tough year, his crews are ready to swing into action when needed.

Bartucca agrees and said his team is always standing by.

“They are getting fatigued, but we are rotating them out even more so now because there are so many storms coming in,” said Bartucca.

Crotty said those waves near Hoover Beach in Hamburg hit about 14 feet, crashing over the flood walls.

And remember even if there’s no tree debris on the ground, there might be broken-off limbs hanging in the trees above you. So, always make sure to look up.

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Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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