Orleans County, N.Y. (WIVB)–Submerged cars, flooded streets, and basements filling with water were just some of the calls the Medina fire department tells us they dealt with Monday. Officials say they plan to work into the night cleaning up the damage from today’s rainstorm.
“It’s a lot like the lake effect that we see in the Southtowns in the wintertime. We had a localized system that dumped a tremendous amount of rain in a short amount of time,” said Medina Fire Lieutenant Steve Cooley.
That rain proved to be dangerous, as flash flooding ripped through Orleans County Monday afternoon. Many roadways in the village of medina blocked by water, leading first responders to urge no unnecessary travel.
“We had multiple streets flooded, we were getting ready to make the announcement and then we had a car that had drove into the middle of the road then washed into a ditch. It’s like hitting a brick wall. You lose control of the vehicle, the vehicle gets washed in a ditch. Had that person been knocked unconscious, it could have been a drowning, “Cooley said.
Cooley says thankfully that person is okay – especially since it only takes just a couple of inches for a person to drown.
” If you see standing water in the roadway, turn around don’t drown.”
First responders were also getting several calls from people dealing with flooded basements. That includes News Four employee Evan Anstey.
At its highest, Anstey says the water in his basement was more than two feet.
“I look down and it’s just shooting into my backdoor. I work as a musician on the side, I know looking down there I’ve lost a couple of amps, I lost a speaker, I lost cables that are probably shot. But beyond that, there were a lot of photo albums, a lot of old stuff and that’s worse than losing the audio equipment, it’s like losing memories and that’s really hard.”
Lieutenant Cooley says he expects the department will work around the clock, helping people like Anstey who need their basements pumped of water.
“We’re going to work throughout the night with our partners here until this is done.”
The Village of Medina’s phones are still down. Anyone in need of help can call the Orleans County non-emergency number 585-798-85602. Lieutenant Cooley says they will assist whoever needs it, the department is just asking for everyone’s patience at this time.
Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.