The Southern Tier bore the brunt of torrential downpours that dropped nearly four inches of rain in some places Wednesday and resulted in flash flooding in several areas.
Streams overflowed their banks in several parts of Chautauqua and southwest Cattaraugus counties early Wednesday morning, and heavy rains were storming areas just east of there later in the day, according to National Weather Service meteorologists.
“There are still some showers and thunderstorms that are providing some heavy rainfall,” meteorologist Dave Thomas said late Wednesday.
“There’s a warm front that’s slowly moving northward through Western New York.”
The hardest-hit area extended from Westfield to Jamestown, where the Chadakoin River overflowed its banks in the city and nearby Falconer to the east.
Weather Service spotters reported 3.71 inches of rain fell at Mayville and about 3.25 inches at both Bemus Point and areas nearer to Jamestown.
A flash flood warning expired during the afternoon hours, and Jamestown police reported late Wednesday that the river returned back within its banks.
By 8 p.m., the river was about eight inches below flood stage, Thomas said, noting that was still about a foot higher than its typical level.
A flash flood watch remained in effect for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties through 11 p.m. Wednesday. Heavy showers and thunderstorms were dropping an inch of rain or more later Wednesday in places like Franklinville, Cuba and Wellsville, according to the Weather Service.
Just to the south of the region, flood warnings were posted in counties of northern Pennsylvania through late Wednesday evening, with threats of “road washouts, mudslides and road closures ... where additional heavy rain and flash flooding occurs,” according to a Weather Service statement.
Even after the rain subsides, flooding may continue to be a problem with runoff and an already saturated ground.
“It will take time for the floodwaters to recede,” said meteorologist Jon Hitchcock.
The good news is that the rain is forecast to taper off over the next few days.
There’s a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms expected in the Buffalo area today, with sunshine and warmer temperatures expected for Sunday and Monday, with highs near 70, according to the weather service.
“It’s looking like a nice holiday weekend for Memorial Day,” Hitchcock said.
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