No Rest for Snow-Weary Buffalo, as Floods Loom

Temps set to soar today and tomorrow as vast amounts of snow melts
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2014 7:17 AM CST
No Rest for Snow-Weary Buffalo, as Floods Loom
Nichole Kepple talks with Sen. Chuck Schumer, thanking him for efforts to clear south Buffalo streets on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Shovel-wielding Buffalonians took to their snow-choked streets en masse this weekend, as plows, dump trucks, and military vehicles worked to dig the city out from the near seven feet of lake-effect snow that was already collapsing roofs in the area. But with temperatures set to near 50 degrees today and 60 degrees tomorrow, the city was bracing for flooding as well, reports the Buffalo News. NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo had deployed 51 boats, 375 pumps, 176,500 sandbags, and 500 National Guardsmen, saying yesterday that "hopefully we need none of this and this was just an elaborate exercise in logistics and people will say, ‘Boy, the governor really made us waste our time.' I hope that happens." The National Weather Service wasn't all that hopeful, issuing a flood warning yesterday afternoon as rain began to fall, as well as a high wind warning. "I’m just waiting for the locusts," says a local official.

Complicating matters are uncollected leaves, which could slow drainage as what the AP calls "canyon walls of snow" melt. But the City of Good Neighbors was busily proving its moniker was no fluke, with hundreds of volunteers shoveling out neighbors' cars, clearing roofs, and delivering medicine, notes the AP. "I thought, 'I've got nothing else better to do, I'm going to do it,'" said one man who walked four hours to get medicine to a friend's mom. "She's got medical problems and I don't want to see anything happen to her." Another said he'd keep shoveling "until the back gives out." Cuomo, in his third visit yesterday since the storm hit, called such stories "a whole rainbow" behind the weather. (More Buffalo stories.)

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