County Quickly Under Water As Crews Battle The Elements Sunday Evening

Emergency responders are pictured responding to a water rescue in Ellery Center.
P-J photo by Eric Tichy

Emergency responders are pictured responding to a water rescue in Ellery Center. P-J photo by Eric Tichy

ELLERY CENTER — Two residents in Ellery Center whose property was surrounded by water were successfully rescued by firefighters late Sunday. It was just one of several water-related emergencies following significant rainfall throughout the area.

In Ellery Center, several fire departments were summoned for water rescue gear in an attempt to reach the two property owners on Slide Joslyn Road. Jay Mease, Ellery Center fire chief, said he arrived to significant water on the road and surrounding the property. A nearby barn was also partially flooded.

Mease said due to the water, getting to the property owners proved difficult.

He asked for assistance from Bemus Point and Maple Grove fire departments and Chautauqua County fire coordinators.

“We all worked together very well considering the circumstances,” Mease said. “But when I got here the water was a lot worse.”

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Mease said crews had to travel flooded roads to reach the scene. At one point, a frantic call went out for someone in the water; the person, who wasn’t identified, was able to get themselves out a short time later.

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Rushing water was reportedly close to washing away a trailer on Route 380 near the Backyard Bar & Grill in Gerry Sunday evening. Occupants of the trailer were reported trapped inside, they were rescued just after 9 p.m. as water rushed around the dwelling.

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Reports of area flooding began rushing in just after 8 p.m. Sunday evening. All northbound traffic on Route 60 ceased for more than an hour, with only one lane of traffic being opened just before 10 and in all directions just before 11 p.m. Major thoroughfares, including portions along routes 60, 380 and 430, were impassable and closed due to flooding around 9 p.m. Emergency responders attempted to close Route 60 from Route 20 to Gerry but cited a lack of manpower in completely doing so at one point during the chaotic events.

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Chautauqua County Fire Police were called in to assist in road closures at Frisbee Road in Cassadaga and Route 380 at Fredonia/Stockton Road.

Fire departments from throughout the county were called into action to respond to a number of flooded basements in the Jamestown, Sinclairville, Westfield and Brocton areas during the course of the evening. All available manpower was also summoned to Sunset Bay in Silver Creek at the height of the event.

In Fredonia, large trees were witnessed floating down Canadaway Creek toward the Water Street and Risley Street bridges. Homes alongside the creek were evacuated as a precaution. Residents on Norton Place and Canadaway were directed by Chautauqua County Emergency Management to evacuate immediately due to inclement weather. A shelter was provided at the Masonic Lodge at 331 E. Main St.

A portion of Sinclair Drive in Sinclairville remained closed Sunday evening and is expected to be closed through the morning.

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