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First (Lots Of) Snow, Now Rain And Flooding Threaten Western New York

Michael Palmer and Carin Schultz work to clear her car of snow and remove it from Union street on Thursday in the Buffalo suburb of Hamburg. (Getty Images)

Western New York can't catch a break. First, it was paralyzed by a mountain of lake-effect snow and unseasonably cold weather. Now, things are thawing and rain is moving in. By Monday, meteorologist say the high temperature could hit 60 degrees.

As USA Today reports, that could cause some serious flooding. The paper adds:

"Weather Channel meteorologist Jon Erdman said rainfall totals of an inch or more are possible in parts of snow-weary Michigan through early Monday, and a half-inch of rain could fall over the heavy western New York snowpack.

"'That's the flip side of the warm-up, dealing with the snow melt and the potential flooding,' he said.

"The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning into Monday afternoon for the Great Lakes region."

CNN reports that in the worst-hit areas near Buffalo nearly seven feet of snow fell. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the network reports, asked New Yorkers to get ready to evacuate at the first sign of a flood, because that melting snow could be dangerous.

"It's a toxic brew," Cuomo said. "It has sewage in it; it has runoff in it."

CNN adds:

"Warming temperatures forecast for Sunday will start to melt 7 feet of snow that fell last week. Rain will add to the menace.

"State officials aren't taking any chances. They've beefed up stockpiles of emergency supplies including generators and pumps and prepared nearly 180,000 sandbags.

"Swift-water rescue teams also are in place, along with helicopters, in case anyone gets caught in a deluge of runoff waters. The New York Fire Department sent about 40 members of its incident management team and about 500 National Guardsmen arrived the area."

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