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Ice jam reported on Upper Niagara, lake effect snow in southern Erie, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties

An ice jam on the Upper Niagara River has prompted a flash flood watch through Sunday morning.

Here's what the National Weather Service said about the situation: "The Niagara River Control Center reports an ice jam on the Upper Niagara River near the North Grand Island Bridge. The water level is starting to rise in the area. The water level so far is just below the level where inundation and damage begins, but if the ice jam grows flooding may develop."

The Grand Island shoreline, Cayuga Island in Niagara Falls and the river shoreline between North Tonawanda and Niagara Falls are the areas susceptible to flooding.

"Every once in a while you get ice that forms down river," said meteorologist Aaron Reynolds. The ice boom in Lake Erie prevents most ice from flowing into the Niagara but once in a while some gets through, he said.

Right now, the ice jam is not causing problems, but the weather service is keeping an eye on it. "It's at a point where we monitor it," Reynolds said.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said that Erie and Niagara county emergency services units were working together Saturday to address the ice jams in the river.

In the meantime, lake effect snow hit Southern Erie, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties Saturday morning but a winter storm warning in those areas was canceled just before 1 p.m..

Earlier Saturday, the weather service said those areas could expect "heavy lake effect snow" with additional accumulations of five to nine inches in the most persistent lake-effect bands. The greatest accumulations were expected near the shore and western portions of the Boston Hills.

Fredonia police issued a travel ban Saturday morning as a band of lake effect snow pounded the shore along Lake Erie in southern Erie County and Chautauqua County. It was later eased to a travel "advisory" and was slated to be lifted entirely at 3 p.m.

In the meantime, Fredonia public works asked the public to keep parked vehicles off the roadways to assist in snow removal.

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