posted on May 16, 2011 15:24
UPDATE (5:38pm): The Tonawanda Creek has risen to 7.79 feet high.* The National Weather Service has increased the projected crest for the creek to 8 feet. It is forecast to crest at 8:00pm this evening.
The National Weather Service is working with a bureau in Boston which specializes in forecasting stream levels during periods of rain. Officials maintain that the creek is not likely to reach flood stage early this week. They will continue to monitor the creek throughout the next several days of intensified rainfall to determine the likelihood of flooding.
*Creek levels are not posted in real-time, but as they come in from NWS. Up-to-date readings here.
The forecast peak level for the Tonawanda Creek has risen, again.
Early this afternoon, the Tonawanda’s level rose into Action Stage. Action Stage is defined as about 7 feet high. The National Weather Service says Action Stage is "the stage which, when reached by a rising stream, represents the level where the NWS or a partner/user needs to take some type of mitigation action in preparation for possible significant hydrologic activity."
The level is now at about 7.2 feet (3:25pm).
So what does that mean? NWS Meteorologist Tom Niziol says it’s nothing serious, yet.
"When Tonawanda Creek gets up above seven feet, we do see some agricultural flooding," he says. "But it's just going to exacerbate the flooding already going on in the farmers' fields near Tonawanda Creek."
Earlier today, the creek was only expected to rise to 6.2 feet, and later that figure was increased to to 6.4 feet. National Weather Service officials now expect the Tonawanda to rise as high as 7.5 feet by midnight, as rainshowers will intensify again into the evening.
Niziol says that forecast peak height may very well increase.
"We have increased the forecast crest almost a foot over the past twelve hours here," he says, "but I would not be surprised if later evaluations this evening take that crest up to the eight-foot level."
Niziol would not rule out the Tonawanda hitting flood stage, which is 9 feet. He did say meteorologists are “pretty confident the creek will stay below flood stage."
Currently (3:25pm) there are no flood watches or warnings in effect for Genesee County.
In Alexander, Peaviner Road and portions of Old Creek Road and Cookson Road have been closed due to high water. These are typically the first roads closed in Genesee County when the Tonawanda Creek rises.