LIVINGSTON COUNTY – Just a week ago, Letchworth State Park’s famous waterfalls were gently splashing through giant teeth of ice.
Friday, the raging Genesee is pulling whole trees into itself and pounding them in the churning chaos below. Ken Wallace, who visits Letchworth almost daily, took this video of the upper falls Friday morning.
“I was at this very spot yesterday morning and things looked a whole lot different and more wintry,” posted Wallace. “Today after much rain and temperatures in the 50’s overnight, I returned and was treated to a whole different scene. Raging, muddy, angry water took the place of calm, clear, icy water. Whole trees were floating down the river and being swallowed up by the Falls.”
It should be noted that the National Weather Service has several weather watches and warnings in effect as significant snow melt and precipitation continues.
There is a flood warning for the Genesee River At Portageville until Saturday morning.
At 11 a.m. Friday, the stage was 17.1 feet and rising. Flood stage is 19.0 feet. The Genesee River is expected to rise above flood stage Friday afternoon and crest near 20.9 feet Friday evening. At 19 feet, the river is expected to begin to overflow into agricultural lands from Belfast to Letchworth. Little damage is expected.
The National Weather Service says that temperatures will rapidly fall below freezing across the region Friday afternoon and evening. Widespread rain across the region will transition to freezing rain and sleet this afternoon as temperatures plummet. Much of the salt on area roadways has likely been washed off given the amount of rain over the last 24 hours. Therefore, as temperatures dive below freezing, bridges and overpasses will likely ice up first, followed by main roadways, sidewalks and parking lots. Water will also begin to freeze up in areas that have experienced flooding from the rainfall and snowmelt today. Please use extra caution for the evening commute as roadways will become very slick, and adjust travel plans accordingly.
Temperatures are expected to fall below freezing by 3 to 6 p.m. for the Genesee Valley.
Heavy snow is expected Friday night through Saturday. Travel will be very difficult to impossible, with very slippery travel conditions for the evening commute today as water quickly freezes on untreated surfaces. Total snow accumulations of 9 to 17 inches and ice accumulations of around one tenth are expected.
The rain and freezing rain at the onset of the event, followed by heavy snowfall, will create extra slippery travel conditions. Be prepared for widespread, heavy and wet snowfall that will create difficult travel conditions across the region. Winds gusting as high as 35 mph will
cause areas of blowing and drifting snow.