FALCONER - The early morning thunderstorms and heavy downpours left areas of Falconer and Ellicott flooded Wednesday.
According to Cecil Miller III, Ellicott town supervisor, flooding was widespread throughout the town and village. Crews were up since 2 a.m. and worked throughout the day to clear debris off of the roads.
David Krieg, Falconer mayor, said they were worried a lot of damage would be on Route 380 because 5 feet of gravel was in the road, but it washed away and didn't undermine the roadways.
There was also some flooding on Elmwood and Kane avenues. Three homes on Lindsey Avenue had to be evacuated, and Allen Street flooded.
Miller said the road that received the worst damage was Horton Road, which has a history of trouble with this kind of rain. The rain had come off the road at such a rate that the infrastructure couldn't handle it and the water went up and over the road, flooding a house at the bottom of the hill.
"With that amount of rain in that short amount of time, there isn't much you can do about it," Miller said.
"The weather service says the water may climb for about three or four more hours," Krieg said Wednesday afternoon. Currently the Chadakoin River is at flood level, but the rate has stopped for the time being. "... If it continues, we'll be in trouble again."
All town-maintained roads reopened Wednesday, however, county-maintained roads were closed later into the day. Route 380 was closed, but according to Miller, crews had been working on the road for a while and he expected to reopen Wednesday.
Falconer Central Schools decided to close after an emergency management meeting at 7 a.m. based on the forecast of possible precipitation. According to Stephen Penhollow, Falconer Central superintendent, a major concern was that with additional rain, the Chadakoin River would overflow. Minimum flooding had taken place in the middle-high school and Temple Elementary School, however, Harvey C. Fenner Elementary School took on a lot of water.
"I think the good thing is being able to communicate openly with our village, with our county agencies, our police departments," Penhollow said. "Everyone was very active and helping to assist not only the school, but the school (provided) buses and shelter locations. I think it is a great example that communities are designed to work together."
No injuries were reported. As a precaution Falconer Central School's gymnasium was transformed into an emergency evacuation center by the Red Cross. Authorities advise residents that if their basement floods, they should should shut off their gas before the water reaches their furnace. If they don't know how to do that, they can call the fire department for help.