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Remnants of Hurricane Frances Drench Region, Cause Severe Flooding

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – There was widespread and extensive flooding throughout the region Thursday morning. Steady rains dumped between two to fives inches in Western New York.

Heavy rains caused significant flooding along a number of roads, major intersections and expressways. Police in Buffalo, Kenmore, Tonawanda, Cheekotwaga and Amherst had an exteremly busy morning dealing with the road closures.

Tonawanda was hit hard with extensive flooding. Lieutenant James Stauffiger is urged motorists to obey traffic barricades.

There were a number of reports of cars getting stuck in flooded road ways. Water in some spots was too deep to drive through this morning.

Police agencies across the area also responded to reports of basement flooding. In Chautauqua County, some residents were evacuated in the Snug Harbor area due to flooding.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Steve McLaughlin says the remnants of Hurricane Frances were to blame for the heavy rain.

"This is very unusual for Western New York," McLaughlin said. "This is the type of stuff that the East Coast usually sees -- a large low pressure area with a lot of precipitation. Usually, our heavy rains come from very localized thunderstorms. But this is a widespread storm that affected the entire area with similar amounts."

Among the major highways closed during the morning rush hour were the Scajaquada Expressway from the 190 to Parkside Avenue, the Delaware Avenue S-curves, Niagara Falls Boulevard from Maple Road to Sheridan Drive and Sheridan from Millersport Highway to Sweethome Road. Police in Cheektowaga say there was road flooding along Genesee Street and Dick Road and at the entrance to the Kensington Expressway.

A flood warning continues in the Buffalo area and for the Buffalo, Cayuga, Cattaraugus, Cazenovia and Ellicott Creeks until 4pm Thursday.