Buffalo area dodges major problems with snowmelt
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A wild nine-day stretch of weather that saw epic snow followed by springlike temperatures, high winds and flood fears came to a close Tuesday, and forecasters said the Buffalo area was in for an uneventful Thanksgiving.
There were isolated reports of melting snow flooding basements and pooling in yards and roads Tuesday, but the region dodged the widespread flooding that residents had feared when temperatures climbed well above freezing following as much as 7½ feet of snow last week.
A single flood warning for Ellicott Creek in suburban Williamsville was in effect through Wednesday morning, and the National Weather Service said counties south of Buffalo could see some freezing rain by then. But several other flood watches and warnings were lifted.
Buffalo students returned to school Tuesday after burning through five snow days. Districts in at least four other hard-hit towns won’t reopen until Dec. 1 as towns clean up from the storm.
The lake-effect snow was blamed for at least a dozen deaths, including an Army veteran from northwestern Pennsylvania whose funeral is scheduled for Wednesday in Bradford.
Family members said 30-year-old Robert Cedar, of Derrick City, Pennsylvania, was helping dig his father’s truck out of deep snow Nov. 18 in suburban Cheektowaga when he got pinned between the vehicle and a high lift. Cedar served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A funeral for another victim, found dead in his snow-covered car, is scheduled for Friday in Buffalo. Donald Abate, of Blasdell, became stranded after leaving his job at the Buffalo Federal Detention facility in Batavia on Nov. 19.