CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY – Emergency crews were busy for much of the day on Tuesday after extreme flooding struck several communities in northern Chautauqua County.
According to the National Weather Service, an estimated five inches of rain fell within a two-hour window in some areas, turning otherwise small creek breeds into raging torrents of water that poured over banks, flooded dozens of homes, and even destroyed some sections of roadway.
Hardest hit were the communities of Brocton, Silver Creek, and Fredonia – although many other communities such as Westfield, Forestville, Cassadaga, Ellington and even Chautauqua were also affected by the storm.
In Silver Creek residents were evacuated from their homes and the Red Cross was called in to provide disaster assistance as water spilled over the banks of Walnut Creek. The Silver Creek Fire Hall and village and town hall were taking on water.
Shelters were opened at both Silver Creek school and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish. The scene was similar to the flash flood that occurred six years ago, when much of the village near Walnut Creek saw significant damage that took weeks to clean up. Residents in Fredonia and Brocton were also temporarily evacuated from their homes and a Red Cross shelter has also been set up at Westfield High School.
The heavy rain forced the closure of dozens of roadways in the county – including Route 60, which had a section washed out near the intersection with Route 83, just south of Fredonia. Other road closures included Route 83, Route 5 and Route 20. Interstate 90 between the Ripley and Westfield exits was also temporarily closed, but has since reopened.
The clean up from the flooding is expected to take place throughout today and the remainder of the week.