Update (4 p.m. Thursday) — Additional information added.
ITHACA, N.Y. — Heavy rain is expected for Ithaca and Tompkins County and local officials are reminding residents to be prepared for potential flooding.
The warm temperatures are a welcome relief after weeks of icy temperatures, but the thawing snow and ice, plus rain on the way make flooding a concern. Residents who live near creeks and are typically at risk for flooding should make sure their sump pumps are working and be prepared.
The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for the region, which is in effect through Saturday evening. One to two inches of rain is expected.
Lt. Tom Basher, of the Ithaca Fire Department, said anyone with a history of flooding should be prepared and make sure their dewatering systems are working. The Ithaca Fire Department also advises people to make sure storm drains are clear of leaves and debris.
Areas in the north side of the city, in Fall Creek and near any streams, creeks and gorges are most at risk for flooding, Basher said.
In a news release Thursday, the City of Ithaca said there is a “slight possibility” of ice jams forming in city creeks due to the warmer temperatures and heavy rainfall expected.
“This has the potential to raise water level in creeks that run through the city and to carry ice downstream where it could form ice jams and cause localized flooding,” the news release said.
City crews will be on duty through the weekend and monitoring the situation, the city said. Basher said the Ithaca Fire Department has pumps on hand to help people in case of flooding. For emergencies, call 911. For non-emergency questions, call Tompkins 211.
Featured image: Fall Creek near Ithaca Falls by Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice