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West Seneca prepares for flooding as it continues to cleanup from a massive snowstorm

Mike Desmond
West Seneca Town Hall and its snowbanks

West Seneca was hammered harder than most other communities by this recent storm. Just a drive through the town shows snow piled everywhere, even next to the Town Hall.

The problem is that the town has a long history of flooding problem areas and the weather forecast is for warmer weather, the Thanksgiving kind of warmer weather.

Town Highway Superintendent Brian Adams says his department is ready, while trying to get the snow off the streets and roads.

“We are prepared for potential flooding. Again, we are doing our best right now, through the next couple of days to do cleanup and snow removal, really widen the streets, open up all of our storm sewer grates so that when it does melt, it has somewhere to go. Again, we are also removing snow and piling it elsewhere.”

To Adams, the big difference from past flooding situations is that there is no ice in town creeks. That’s traditionally where the problem arises when ice jams, blocking water flow and right now the creeks are free-flowing.

Adams says past experience is a guide to what to do and what equipment is needed.

“Sandbags ready to go. We have portable pumps, things like that, anticipating any type of flood. We should be ready for it. But, I don't think we'll see flooding, the creek levels rising to the point where they're coming. Just because there's really not that ice jammed up or anything like that, yet. We're very fortunate that this amount of snow and then thaw didn't happen.”

Adams says this is all going on while his department is still grappling with the loss of equipment in a fire last December. Some was repaired and other towns have helped but replacement equipment is still on the way.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.