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Lockport flooding forces driving ban

LOCKPORT – Today’s torrential rains flooded almost every street and intersection in Lockport, with the hardest-hit residential areas seeing knee-high water.

“It’s the worst rainstorm I’ve seen in 30 years,” said Police Chief Lawrence M. Eggert. He said it took him 45 minutes to reach his home from Police Headquarters in the center of town. Lockport is only three miles from end to end.

Mayor Michael W. Tucker imposed a driving ban shortly after 3 p.m., but it was little help to thousands still at work and trying to find a safe way home.

“Every intersection I went through was flooded,” Eggert said. “At East High and Davison Road there were three cars stuck in the intersection.”

Waters in the hard-hit eastern part of the city, where parts of the city are in a flood plain, were knee-high or deeper in many locations.

Police Capt. Anthony Palumbo said the fewest calls about flooding have been coming from the western part of the city.

The downtown area’s intersections were filling with water at midafternoon, while Transit Road and other residential areas were all flooded to one degree or another.

Firefighters and city crews are out pumping basements out and trying to clear blocked sewer receivers.

Tucker said there have been reports of manholes bursting off sewers because of the capacity of the lines being challenged.

He said he had a call from one resident who lives near a sewer lift station and whose basement was flooded. “It’s not the lift station. It’s just too much rain in too short a time,” Tucker said.

Tucker said it was fortunate that tonight’s opening event of the Labatt Canal Concert Series, which was to have featured the appropriately named Puddle of Mudd, was canceled last night because of the illness of the band’s lead vocalist. He said the show would have had to be canceled anyway.

In the surrounding Town of Lockport, Supervisor Marc R. Smith said there was flooding everywhere.

“It’s as bad as I’ve ever seen it. All the yards are full. It’s just terrible,” Smith said.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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