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Red Cross shelter opens in response to flash flooding in S. Tier

Continuous heavy downpours dropping more than an inch of rain on portions of the region have caused flash flooding in the Chautauqua County Village of Brocton.

There was also flooding in the City of Lockport in Niagara County, where Mayor Michael Tucker issued a driving ban until the water recedes.

“The flooding is everywhere. So much rain has fallen that our water system just backed up. Manhole covers have blown off from the force of the water,” he said.

The American Red Cross of Southwestern New York by late afternoon closed a shelter at the Brocton Central School after the Chautauqua County Office of Emergency Services gave the OK for residents of 45 evacuated residences to return to their homes, said Jay Bonafede, a Red Cross spokesman.

As of noon Friday, officials from the county’s Office of Emergency Services were at the scene of the flooding and unavailable to comment on conditions in the village. The village is located near the Lake Erie shoreline just past Fredonia.

Tucker said no one to his knowledge has had to be evacuated in Lockport, but many basements, including his, are inundated with water.

“We need the rain to stop so the water can recede,” he said.

A flood warning remains in effect for Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties until this afternoon, according the National Weather Service. Other parts of the region remain under a flood watch, with showers and thunderstorms expected to stick around.

“We have a stationary system that is just sitting over the area, and it has saturated the ground, causing creeks and streams to flood,” said meteorologist Aaron Reynolds.