COUDERSPORT – Residents across the Northern Tier woke up to above-abervage temperatures Friday, Jan. 12, which resulted in flooded streams all due in part to melting snow packs and ice jams.
Towns like Galeton, Roulette, Coudersport, Bradford, Eldred and Genesee, that lie along rivers and streams reported flooding of streams and even some residential areas.
Galeton recorded only slightly more than an inch of rain, but the warmer temperatures melted several inches of snow pack, overfilling already streams. Ice jams formed, cutting off typical water-drainage routes and filling parking lots, streets and other low-lying areas. Ice blocks nearly a foot thick could be seen damming areas and redirecting raging rivers through areas that typically remain dry even during a flood.
Properties near Berger Lake in Galeton, such as the post office, Acorn Markets and library, were subsequently flooded and closed. The Galeton Area School District shut down at noon.
Police and emergency crews assisted Galeton residents during a voluntary evacuation order. Evacuees were being sent to St. Bibiana’s Catholic Church. Galeton crews had dislodged most of the ice by 9 p.m. that night.
In Roulette, some major roads like Main Street were briefly closed due to flooding from the Allegany River. At the water facility, the water drew pretty close to the bridge line.
Oswayo Valley School District and public library also dismissed early Friday due to the flooding mixed with the impending ice and snow storm.
In McKean County, Bradford University was flooded, prompting administration to close campus at about noon for the rest of the day. Other areas through out the county were also waterlogged, like Eldred.
North central state counties were under flood watches or winter storm warnings as of Friday afternoon until about 10 p.m. that night. Later, a barrage of snow and ice hit the western-most counties, with some areas seeing as much as eight inches of snow.