Buffalo area preps for melt, possible evacuations

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
93 PHOTOS
Bad weather & Thanksgiving travel
See Gallery
Buffalo area preps for melt, possible evacuations
(NOAA)
(NOAA)
(NOAA)
(NOAA)
(NOAA)
(NOAA)
(NOAA)
(NOAA)
WINDHAM, ME - NOVEMBER 26: Laurie Perham is dressed for the winter in her heavy coat as she cleans the freshly fallen snow from her car after work in Windham in preparation for the ride home to Naples as the snow storm intensifies in Windham areas. (Photo by Gordon Chibroski/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
A plane sits on the tarmac behind rain drops on a window at Logan International Airport in Boston, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. Rain and snow rolled into the Northeast on Wednesday as millions of Americans made the big Thanksgiving getaway, grounding hundreds of flights and turning highways sloppy along the congested Washington-to-Boston corridor. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Thanksgiving holiday travelers make their way to departing trains at Penn Station, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, in New York. One of the busiest, most stressful travel days of the year posed special challenges in the crowded Washington-to-Boston corridor as travelers on their way to Thanksgiving celebrations contended with a nor'easter packing rain and snow. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Snow blankets the ground at Military Park, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, in Newark, N.J. The northern New Jersey region is expected to be hit by a snow storm, which will cause problems for those traveling ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Airline passengers at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, DC, in Virginia, arrive to snow showers on the busiest travel day of the year November 26, 2014. Hundreds of flights were cancelled or delayed Wednesday in the US northeast as a winter storm delivered freezing rain and snow ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, one of the year's biggest travel weekends. A wintry mix was falling in Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Washington, according to the National Weather Service, which forecast 'havoc' for travelers along the east coast from the Carolinas up through New England. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
A cluster of westbound traffic, left, curves around Interstate 68 west of Hancock, Md., Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. A sloppy mix of rain and snow rolled into the Northeast on Wednesday just as millions of Americans began the big Thanksgiving getaway, grounding hundreds of flights and turning highways hazardous along the congested Washington-to-Boston corridor. (AP Photo/The Herald-Mail, Kevin G. Gilbert)
Travelers wait in lines to check in at LaGuardia Airport in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. A nor'easter was expected to develop along the East Coast just as millions of travelers head to their Thanksgiving destinations, bringing mostly rain close to the coast, but heavier snow further inland. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
A car sits in a snowbank after sliding off the road during an accident Wednesday Nov. 26, 2014 in Concord, N.H. The season's first major snowstorm is promising up to a foot of snow in some places, choking off holiday travel. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
People walk through falling snow at a rest stop on Interstate 95 Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, outside Baltimore, in Aberdeen, Md. One of the busiest, most stressful travel days of the year posed special challenges in the crowded Washington-to-Boston corridor as travelers on their way to Thanksgiving celebrations contended with a nor'easter packing rain and snow. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Travelers wait to board their flights at Miami International Airport in Miami, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Thanksgiving travelers along the East Coast were heading out early because of a forecast calling for a nor'easter that will bring rain and snow. All the major U.S. airlines were closely monitoring the situation but have not yet canceled flights. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
Travelers wait to claim their baggage at LaGuardia Airport in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. A nor'easter was expected to develop along the East Coast just as millions of travelers head to their Thanksgiving destinations, bringing mostly rain close to the coast, but heavier snow further inland. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Snow blankets the ground at Military Park, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, in Newark, N.J. The northern New Jersey region is expected to be hit by a snow storm, which will cause problems for those traveling ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
People walk in snow at a rest stop on Interstate 95 Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, outside Baltimore, in Aberdeen, Md. One of the busiest, most stressful travel days of the year posed special challenges in the crowded Washington-to-Boston corridor as travelers on their way to Thanksgiving celebrations contended with a nor'easter packing rain and snow. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Snow blankets the ground at Military Park, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, in Newark, N.J. The northern New Jersey region is expected to be hit by a snow storm, which will cause problems for those traveling ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

NOOA satellite loop taken on November 26, 2014 of a nor'easter moving up the East Coast of the U.S. Forecasters expect the storm to bring rain and snow to a large swathe of the Eastern Seaboard, disrupting holiday travel on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Airline passengers at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, DC, in Virginia, arrive to snow showers on the busiest travel day of the year November 26, 2014. Hundreds of flights were cancelled or delayed Wednesday in the US northeast as a winter storm delivered freezing rain and snow ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, one of the year's biggest travel weekends. A wintry mix was falling in Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Washington, according to the National Weather Service, which forecast 'havoc' for travelers along the east coast from the Carolinas up through New England. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
A car travels along the highway as snow falls , Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014 in Concord, N.H. The season's first major snowstorm is promising up to a foot of snow in some places, slowing holiday travel. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
A pedestrian uses an umbrella as as he walks infront of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. A mix of rain and snow is falling steadily around the Washington region as a winter weather advisory remains in effect on one of the busiest travel days of the year, and thousands of people attempt to reach their Thanksgiving destinations. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Ellicott Creek rages on Mill St. Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Amherst, N.Y. The creek has crested to flood stage Tuesday. Authorities on Tuesday kept an eye on rising creek levels a week after the region was hit by record-breaking lake-effect storms. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
BUFFALO, NY, UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 21: Roadside Snow view from a car on November 21, 2014 in Buffalo, New York as the death toll attributed to Buffalo snow rises to 13. A brutal blast of Arctic air triggered a lake-effect storm and snow in the states of New York, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick McPartland/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 19: In this handout provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from the GOES-East satellite, infrared image shows icy cold Canadian air settles over the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. bringing snow and bitter cold pictured at 12:30 UTC on November 19, 2014. The deep low pressure system is pushing polar air over the Eastern U.S. is centered over southeastern Canada. The storm has already dumped 5 feet of snow outside Buffalo, New York with more on the way. (Photo by NOAA/NASA GOES Project via Getty Images)
A vehicle blasts its way through a flooded Stony Road, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Lancaster, N.Y. Western New York has localized flooding from melting snow following last week's lake-effect snow. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
A truck servicing the oil field turns into traffic in snowy Williston, N.D., Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. A winter storm days before the Thanksgiving holiday resulted in snow and icy roads in the oil patch city. But in the frenetic pace of life in the oil patch, work continued despite adverse weather conditions. (AP Photo/Josh Wood)
A pickup truck towing a trailer drives into snowy Williston, N.D., Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2015. A winter storm days before the Thanksgiving holiday resulted in snow and icy roads in the oil patch city. But in the frenetic pace of life in the oil patch, work continued despite adverse weather conditions. (AP Photo/Josh Wood)
Rail travelers wait to board a train ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. A nor'easter was expected to develop along the East Coast just as millions of travelers head to their Thanksgiving destinations, bringing mostly rain close to the coast, but heavier snow further inland. The exact track and severity of the storm has meteorologists on alert. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Snow piles surround Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Snowed out in Buffalo, the Bills are heading to Detroit to play their "home" NFL football game against the New York Jets on Monday night, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
A dump truck unloads snow at the Central Terminal that was removed from south Buffalo after heavy lake-effect snowstorms, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Buffalo, N.Y. Western New York continues to dig out from the heavy snow dropped this week by lake-effect snowstorms. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
A sign marks the location of a snow-covered sewer drain and fire hydrant along McKinley Parkway in Buffalo, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 24, 2104. With temperatures approaching 60 degrees Monday, following more than 7 feet of snow in spots last week, the region was bracing for possible flooding. (AP Photo/Carolyn Thompson)
FILE -A front loader drives through a snowstorm along Union Road on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, in West Seneca, N.Y. A new blast of lake-effect snow pounded Buffalo for a third day piling more misery on a city already buried by an epic, deadly snowfall that could leave some areas with nearly 8 feet of snow on the ground when it's all done. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
BUFFALO, NY, UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 22: A high loader works to clear snow along an avenue on November 22, 2014 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Patrick McPartland/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY, UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 22: A high loader works to clear snow along an avenue on November 22, 2014 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Patrick McPartland/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A front loader clears snow from Lake Avenue on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Western New York continues to dig out from the heavy snow dropped this week by lake-effect snowstorms. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
BUFFALO SNOW MELT: Officials rush to prevent flooding as temperatures climb. 'READ' more: http://t.co/DIUkXovJSi http://t.co/I52SGwNZt6
As #snow melts, #snowvember damage totals sure to rise http://t.co/qb2mMGMMmg via @BfloBizJimFink http://t.co/TQPo7HhE8J
A dump truck waits to dump snow that is being hauled from surrounding neighborhoods on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Western New York continues to dig out from the heavy snow dropped this week by lake-effect snowstorms. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Snow still covers part of Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Snowed out today at the stadium, the Bills are in Detroit to play their "home" NFL football game against the New York Jets on Monday night, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Workers clear snow from the field at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Snowed out today at the stadium, the Bills are in Detroit to play their "home" NFL football game against the New York Jets on Monday night, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Workers clear snow from the field at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Snowed out today at the stadium, the Bills are in Detroit to play their "home" NFL football game against the New York Jets on Monday night, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
John Eresian, left, of Exeter, N.H. and his daughter from San Francisco make their way through Grand Central Terminal to catch a train to Connecticut for the Thanksgiving holiday, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in New York. Some Thanksgiving travelers along the East Coast were heading out early because of a forecast calling for a nor'easter that will bring rain and snow. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Snow piles surround Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Snowed out in Buffalo, the Bills are heading to Detroit to play their "home" NFL football game against the New York Jets on Monday night, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Workers clear snow from Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Snowed out today at the stadium, the Bills are in Detroit to play their "home" NFL football game against the New York Jets on Monday night, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Shelly Hathaway shovels the roof of her house with her dog Chief on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Western New York continues to dig out from the heavy snow dropped by this week by lake-effect snowstorms. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
People clear snow from a house on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Western New York continues to dig out from the heavy snow dropped by this week by lake-effect snowstorms. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
A man jogs along a snowy street on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Western New York continues to dig out from the heavy snow dropped by this week by lake-effect snowstorms. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Workers clear snow from the field at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Snowed out today at the stadium, the Bills are in Detroit to play their "home" NFL football game against the New York Jets on Monday night, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Sen. Chuck Schumer talks with New York National Guard members on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. The National Guard is helping Western New York as it continues to dig out from the heavy snow dropped by this week by lake-effect snowstorms. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
A utility worker carries equipment past National Guard vehicles while working to retire power to a neighborhood on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Western New York continues to dig out from the heavy snow dropped by this week by lake-effect snowstorms. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Sen. Chuck Schumer, right, pours coffee for New York National Guard member Rapheal Ramos on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. The National Guard is helping Western New York as it continues to dig out from the heavy snow dropped by this week by lake-effect snowstorms. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Sen. Chuck Schumer, right, and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz talk with New York National Guard members on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. The National Guard is helping Western New York as it continues to dig out from the heavy snow dropped by this week by lake-effect snowstorms. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Crews with heavy machinery remove snow outside Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. Snowed out in Buffalo, the Bills are heading to Detroit to play their "home" NFL football game against the New York Jets on Monday night, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
Jonah Baldwin and Charlie Wieder take a break from shoveling off a roof on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Western New York continues to dig out from the heavy snow dropped by this week by lake-effect snowstorms. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
(Anthony Quintano)
A worker watches as he flings snow off a roof in Orchard Park, N.Y. Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. A snowfall that brought huge drifts and closed roads is now a concern because roofs are collapsing under the heavy loads. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
Snow covers the seats and field at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. Snowed out in Buffalo, the Bills are heading to Detroit to play their "home" NFL football game against the New York Jets on Monday night, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
Snow drifted above many people's heads in Cheektowaga, New York, a southern suburb of Buffalo. (Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
Jake Sojka, left, and his father Gregory Sojka, pose with photos from past floods as they stand alongside their flooded home on Main Street after Ellicott Creek crested its banks Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Bowmansville, N.Y. Western New York has flooding from melting snow following last week's snowstorms. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
(Anthony Quintano)
Shelly Hathaway shovels the roof of her house with her dog Chief on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Western New York continues to dig out from the heavy snow dropped by this week by lake-effect snowstorms. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
A man clears snow from a the roof of a house on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Western New York continues to dig out from the heavy snow dropped by this week by lake-effect snowstorms. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
A dog walks in deep snow on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Western New York continues to dig out from the heavy snow dropped by this week by lake-effect snowstorms. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Members of the Bowmansville Fire Department use a tractor to remove a stranded vehicle along Ellicott Creek, which crested at flood stage Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Bowmansville, N.Y. Western New York has flooding from melting snow following last week's snowstorms. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
A truck negotiates its way through a flooded Stony Road, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Lancaster, N.Y. Western New York has localized flooding from melting snow following last week's snowstorms. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
BUFFALO, NY, UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 21: A residents work to remove snow from the roof on November 21, 2014 in Buffalo, New York as the death toll attributed to Buffalo snow rises to 13. A brutal blast of Arctic air triggered a lake-effect storm and snow in the states of New York, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick McPartland/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- People in storm-socked areas around Buffalo began returning to work on Monday as fast-melting mounds of snow fed into creeks that were starting to swell.

It was not clear how widespread flooding would be almost a week after western New York was pummeled by epic snowfall. Thermometer readings were approaching 60 degrees by midmorning, and some residents of the Buffalo area were out and about in T-shirts riding bicycles while others focused on the tasks at hand.

David Fruehauf, 71, was out early clearing leaves from a storm drain in front of his house in suburban Orchard Park.

"These are the enemies of a sewer," Fruehauf said, staring down at leaves surrounding the drain. There's still a long ways to go. The stuff is shrinking, but it's got to have a place to go."

Families rushed to pack up their valuables and schools closed in advance - not of snow but possible flooding.

Temperatures were expected to hit nearly 60 degrees, causing Buffalo area residents to prepare for evacuations caused by runoff from melting snow, and overflowing creeks.

"Hopefully, the rain won't be here until later and this will be a slow thaw, but flooding is our major, major concern here," said Michelle Pikula, whose house is along the Buffalo Creek.

The National Weather Service said rain overnight into Monday amounted to about one-tenth of an inch across the areas that had received the heaviest snowfall. Forecasts call for rain showers on Monday and a chance of rain and snow showers by early Tuesday.

The NWS has issued a flood warning for Monday and cautioned that trees weakened by heavy snowfall and saturated soil could come crashing down. High wind gusts of up to 60 mph also could topple electrical wires and trigger power outages.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday warned residents in flood-prone areas around Buffalo to move valuables up from the basement, pack a bag and prepare for the possibility of evacuation.

"Err on the side of caution," Cuomo said at a news conference in Cheektowaga. "You prepare for the worst and hope for the best, and that's what we're doing."

Most snow-affected school districts remain closed Monday, and at least four called off classes for the entire Thanksgiving week.

In Hamburg, Pete Yeskoot bought a portable generator to make sure his sump pump will keep working once the roughly 80 inches of snow that fell on his property melts. Possessions are up on blocks in the basement and he has food for several days.

"Behind us is an 18-mile creek so everything in the village will come through us at some point, so we have to get ready for the possibility of flooding," he said. "And given all this snow, we have to expect that this is real."

National Guard members spent Sunday clearing storm drains and culverts to facilitate runoff, and shoveling snow off roofs.

Cuomo said evacuation plans and emergency shelters were being readied in case of flooding. As a backup to Red Cross shelters, Cuomo said the state would have shelters at community colleges and state university campuses.

Buffalo Braces for Floods After Record Snowfall
Read Full Story

People are Reading