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Friday, March 13, 2015


The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch through Sunday morning.

The combination of snow melt and rainfall of as much as half an inch tonight and Saturday will likely lead to significant rises on area tributaries, the weather service says — especially if temperatures climb higher than expected and rainfall exceeds the current forecast.

There is plenty of ice still on area creeks and rivers. The weather service notes that the primary risk of flooding will be from ice jams with the warm weather increasing flows in the waterways, which "will break the river ice ... which can then become jammed where there are constrictions in the river or creek channel."

People who live in flood-prone areas — such as Tonawanda Creek — are advised to prepare. 

According to the weather service, "warming air temperatures this week ... and through the weekend are beginning to weaken ice on local creeks and rivers. Temperatures today are expected to rise well into the 40s and remain above freezing throughout Saturday night. These warming temperatures have created a ripe snowpack ... with snowmelt increasing the water flow on area creeks and rivers. This increase in water flow ... combined with rainfall this weekend may cause ice jam flooding on local creeks and rivers.

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