The emergency relief workers were on their toes with thousands of sandbags filled with snow on Sunday in the area surrounding Buffalo, New York to tackle the situation of flooding as temperatures began to rise, resulting into the melting of up to seven feet (two meters) of snow.
The members of New York National Guard turned up in large numbers in Erie County and Buffalo to tackle the flood situation and help in the clearing of roads and digging out the homes and cars that got covered by the record snow following a storm that claimed lives of 13 people.
The National Weather Service issued cautionary warning against the potential flooding of four rivers and streams, saying there would be a flood situation due to the rapid snow melt as the storm has already blocked drains.
Briefing the media on Sunday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “We hope to get back to business on Monday… the government offices and schools will be open. We are also sending teams of structural engineers in to inspect any school that might have the potential of a structural problem.”
Cuomo also underlined that in event on the widespread flooding the state authorities were completely prepared with tens of thousands of sandbags, hundreds of pumps and a robust evacuation plan.
According to the officials, they have taken 176,500 sandbags and three sandbagging machines among other supplies to staging areas.
Ellen Przepasniak, spokesperson for the Erie County emergency operations effort, said that they have beefed up the safety arrangement and sandbags would be immediately deployed to the flood-hit cities and towns.
Moreover, high axle vehicles have also been deployed by the state agencies to drive on flooded roads. Along with this, the agencies have also made arrangements for the deployment of pumps, water tank, water bottles and other emergency material.
According to the National Weather Service, the temperatures are going to increase this week with a rise to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) on Sunday followed by 60 F on Monday. The weather officials said that the high temperatures could quickly unlock up to six inches of water.
The official website of the National Weather Service read: “Snowmelt is well underway and will continue through Monday. It is this snowmelt that will ultimately cause the flooding concerns.”
The heavy storms had left several people stuck in their cars and under the collapsed roofs for over 24 hours after the heaviest snowfall had hit the areas of New York state along the Great Lakes.
The November storm system, which is being termed as the “Knife Storm,” lasted for three days.