BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) Route five remained closed for much of the day Tuesday to allow an exacavation crew to break up ice with a crane in Big Sister Creek in the Town of Evans.
“We’re pretty much definitely under water,” said Diane Felt who lives nearby, along Bennett Road. She had four feet of water in her basement before the fire department brought over a pump to help her bailout. “In years past, they used to dynamite it when we were kids, and once that is opened up, then the ice jams flow, but until that happens, this is jammed right up.”
The creek flooding even washed out the end of her driveway at the street. “So, not only do we get it from the back but we also get it from the front.” By noon, the ice flow suddenly began to move more smoothly into Lake Erie.
About ten miles south, in Sunset Bay, there aren’t many year round residents, but many of the cottages sustained flood damage overnight when ice jammed up at the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek.
Kristie Paxson and her husband live there year round, and spent much of the night watching the effects of the huge ice chunks. “It’s scary. It’s very scary and then when we had that huge wind, we were afraid it would push in so that can’t go out.”
By late Tuesday morning, Cattaraugus Creek was flowing well again into Lake Erie, and looked nothing like the ice jam that developed here at around midnight, according to Dan Paxson. “It was up to the top of the boat launch with all the ice. I thought it was actually going to get worse than it did, but the ice broke up and it all let go so we got lucky, but we still got a chance of it doing it again tonight when the rest of the cise comes down the creek, so…we’re not out of the woods yet.”