Overnight rains cause messy commute on Wednesday morning

All streets open in Buffalo after three inches of rain overnight

Mike Baggerman
August 21, 2019 - 11:55 am

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, N.Y. (WBEN) - Drivers in the City of Buffalo and in the northtowns had a difficult commute on Wednesday morning after two-to-three inches of rain fell in the region over a short span during the overnight hours.

Multiple major roads were impacted by the rain including Elmwood Avenue, Delaware Avenue, Hertel Avenue, and Ontario Street. Underpasses in the northern section of the city were particularly hit hard, with the low elevated terrains forcing the water to pool.

In a news conference, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown announced that all streets in the City of Buffalo have reopened to traffic and he said no one was injured in the overnight storms.

"When we have a situation like this in before, please avoid these areas where water can be very deep," Brown said. "Do not try to drive through areas like that because you probably will end up getting stuck in your vehicle."

Buffalo Sewer Authority Commisioner OJ McFoy asked any City of Buffalo residents who still have standing water on streets to call the 3-1-1 hotline or to call 851-4664 after hours. He said crews are out in the city clearing receivers and sewers to further help with the clearing. McFoy said all viaducts were clean as of 10:30 a.m.

"With a storm as intense as this one that brought a lot of storm water, debris, trash, and that nature, that stops the receivers from getting the water into them" McFoy said. "We know we've got to get to (major streets) first to alleviate them. Every one of our trucks have GPS units to identify where our receivers are that are flooded and you can't see them."

Anyone with basement flooding was advised to wait until the water has drained and to contact a private contractor. McFoy said city sewers are typically larger than the piping in an individual homeowners. He said the city will do an investigation if there is multiple calls on one street about flooding.

Stuck in Water

Adam from Tonawanda was one of the unfortunate people who got their car stuck in the water on Wednesday morning. He told WBEN that there was a Tonawanda Police Officer stationed on Sheridan Drive between Colvin Boulevard and Belmont Avenue while he was on the roads but he decided to drive past the cruiser, even though it had its emergency lights on.

"Thirty feet down the road my car stopped," he said. "It was at 6:05 a.m. It was still dark out and I couldn't see the darn water in the road."

He was immediately reprimanded by police. Adam said he will probably need to get a new car because he flooded his engine while going through the flooded street. Police didn't give him any tickets. In fact, some Tonawanda Police officers helped him push his car out of the water.

"My advice for people would be to pay attention when cops are flashing their lights," he said. "If they're stopped in the road, they're probably stopped for a good reason. I am 34 years old and it took me 34 years to learn that lesson."

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