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Flash-flood warning extended to 9:30 p.m. for parts of Niagara, Erie counties


Steve Batterson, who lives on Cayuga Island, sent in this photo of the scene outside his home at Griffon Avenue and South 89th Street in Niagara Falls.

Updated 5:10 p.m.:

The National Weather Service is urging some residents in Niagara Falls and Grand Island to monitor water levels and be prepared to move to higher ground as the threat of flooding due to ice jams in the Niagara River continues.

A flash-flood warning has been extended until 9:30 p.m. for the east branch of the Niagara River, as high winds and increased ice flows have led to an ice jam between Cayuga Island and the New York Power Authority water intakes.

Low-lying areas of the Robert Moses Parkway and the LaSalle Expressway are flooded and have been closed, according to the Weather Service.

Flooding has also begun on the Grand Island shoreline of the Niagara River's east branch.

Sections of several streets on Cayuga Island in the Falls have been flooded, including Griffon Avenue and South 89th Street.

"Conditions are unstable and could worsen," the Weather Service said this afternoon.

If water levels continue to rise, flooding will worsen across much of Cayuga Island, in the vicinity of the LaSalle Yacht Club at South 68th Street and Buffalo Avenue and in the Baseline Road area on Grand Island.

Residents should monitor water levels closely and be prepared to seek higher ground, the Weather Service said.

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster said Tuesday afternoon that the last time he had spoken with the New York Power Authority, they said the ice breaking operations were going well and, barring a change in wind direction, the situation was thought to be peaking out.

Officials initially isssued a warning this morning that was to last until 3:30 p.m. Shortly after 3 p.m., the warning was extended.


The upper Niagara River is jammed with ice Tuesday. This view is looking upstream from LaSalle Waterfront Park in Niagara Falls, near the north Grand Island bridges. (Aaron Besecker/Buffalo News)

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Aaron Besecker

Aaron Besecker

Aaron Besecker joined The Buffalo News in 2007, where he has covered communities in Western New York as a beat reporter, multimedia journalist and assistant online editor. A Buffalo native, he began his career in journalism at the Niagara Gazette.

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