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Snow, wind, cold ... and now flooding a possibility along Lake Erie shore, upper Niagara River

Weather forecasters are keeping a close eye on conditions along the Upper Niagara River and the shore of Lake Erie Tuesday as a strong winter storm is bringing blizzard-like conditions to the region.

The National Weather Service's Buffalo office has issued multiple alerts regarding flooding:

A flash food watch is in effect through Wednesday evening for low-lying areas on the Upper Niagara River as a result of strong winds and an ice jam between the Power Authority intake and Cayuga Island.

"The Niagara River Control Center reports that the water level on the river remains high. The water level is just below the level where inundation and damage begins. If the ice jam worsens flooding may be possible," the weather service said Tuesday morning.

"Areas susceptible to flooding from rising water on the Upper Niagara River include the Grand Island shoreline, Cayuga Island in Niagara Falls, and the river shoreline between North Tonawanda and Niagara Falls," the weather service reported.

Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said residents in potential flood areas "will be personally contacted by public safety officers going door-to-door should the need for an evacuation arise."

“Water levels are being closely monitored and will continue to be throughout the week. Although our most recent data shows the Niagara River at a level below damage elevation, we ask that Cayuga Island residents remain vigilant and assist our public safety officers as they work to keep our community safe,” Dyster said in a statement.

Residents with questions can call the Falls Police non-emergency line at 286-4711.

There's also a lakeshore flood advisory between 4 a.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday for Erie and Chautauqua counties.

"Strong southwest winds will result in water rises to between 7 and 8 feet above low water datum on the eastern end of Lake Erie," the weather service said.

"Elevated water levels could pose a hazard to any remaining docked boats and vessels in area harbors. Anyone near or at the Lake Erie shoreline should be prepared for such elevated water levels. The combination of waves and high water levels may result in splashover and freezing spray. Route 5 in the Town of Hamburg may be impacted," the weather service reported.

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