Melting snow raises people’s fears of flooding
With temperatures rapidly warming in the state of New York, people began to emerge in some of the areas worst affected by a series of lake-effect storms that dumped more than six feet of snow across the region
Record-breaking snowfall buries towns near Buffalo, New YorkGovernment officials said that a limited state of emergency remained in effect. The driving ban, however, was completely lifted. As cars made their way again onto streets where snow had been piled higher than the stop signs, they vied for space with street-clearing machinery, other vehicles abandoned days ago and National Guard personnel sent to western New York to assist with the cleanup.
Mayor Byron Brown and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo held a news conference at Mercy Hospital in south Buffalo, where some doctors and staff had been stranded and forced to sleep inside during the worst of the storms.
“We have trucked over 85,000 tonnes out of south Buffalo, and Kaisertown,” Mr. Brown said about the snow, citing two of the worst-affected areas.
Officials were in a congratulatory mood. “We are lifting the driving ban just a few days after this historic emergency,” said Mr. Cuomo.
Still, the governor noted that warming temperatures have not only accelerated snow removal, but have created a new threat, with some flooding expected in the coming days. “We still have to worry about flooding,” he said. “It is a very real possibility.”
The National Weather Service issued flood warnings for creeks across the region. At a news conference, he stressed preparation for potential flooding in the coming days. He asked residents in flood-prone areas to pack a bag and safeguard their valuables to prepare to evacuate.
“Err on the side of caution,” he said. “If you think your home may be flooded, evacuate earlier rather than later.”