Are You Ready for the Rain?

What homeowners should know before a wet weekend

Brendan Keany
January 09, 2020 - 3:35 pm

Cars pass through Sheridan Drive after the road was reopened between Colvin Boulevard and Belmont Avenue. August 21, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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BUFFALO (WBEN) - Of the eight counties that comprise Western New York, all except for Allegany County is under a flood watch starting Saturday afternoon and running through Sunday afternoon.

Jon Hitchcock of the National Weather Service in Buffalo says that we can expect intermitent light rain to develop Friday and on through the Saturday morning hours, but the real problem won't come until Saturday afternoon with the heavy rain continuing on through Saturday night.

"After all is said and done, we expect anywhere from an inch-and-a-half to two-and-a-half inches of rain through the event, so starting tomorrow and running all the way through Saturday night," said Hitchcock. "The bulk of that is going to fall later Saturday afternoon and Saturday night."

Listen to Hitchcock's full comments below:

With the high volume of expected precipitation, Don from Plumbing Help Now says he's prepared for a busy weekend, and that homeowners need to be prepared by making sure their sump pumps and pits are clean.

"One of the most important things that every homeowner should do is have an emergency backup sump pump," he said. "Battery ones aren't very reliable, but the water-operated ones are very well improved and very reliable, and if they do have a water backup, make sure they test them. They're supposed to be tested two or three times a year - you don't want it to fail when you really need it."

Regarding homeowners in specific spots that need to pay the most attention, he says it mainly depends on elevation, which can vary from one side of the street to the other, but he did point to one specific area where he receives a lot of calls.

"Amherst area is a very swampy, wet area, and I would venture to say 80% of all my sump pump calls are coming from that area," he said. "It's already wet, the pumps are always working regardless of the weather, and then once you get the heavier rains it kind of pushes the pumps over the edge and they don't want to work. Amherst, by far, is the toughest area.

"What I normally see is downspouts that are overflowing, gutters that are overflowing - you want to walk around your house and inspect those types of things," he continued. "If you see water laying on the foundation of your house, that water is going to end up in your basement, so you want to do whatever you can to get the water away from your house."

Listen to Don's full comments below:

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