Flooding risk for Ithaca area thanks to widespread rain Thursday and Friday

An inch or so of rain through Friday morning isn’t a huge amount of rain, but the heavy rainfall in the area combined with the mass of melting snow from a few weeks ago means we could have localized flooding in Ithaca and Central New York.

High creek levels in Fall Creek. 14850 file photo.

Creeks have been running high as snow from mid-March has melted along with light precipitation. The National Weather Service has issued an Areal Flood Watch for Tompkins and surrounding counties through Saturday morning.

The Ithaca Fire Department encourages residents, “please check your basements, down spouts and sump pumps.”

While the National Weather Service forecast for Ithaca includes snow on Friday, meteorologist Drew Montreuil of Finger Lakes Weather doesn’t expect much. “With surface temperatures above freezing and a warm ground, it will be difficult to get much in the way of snow accumulation,” he says. “Still, a couple of slushy inches will be possible on decks and grassy surfaces, especially over higher elevations. Roads should generally remain mostly wet.”

“Don’t wait until your basement is flooded to need a sump pump,” suggests the Ithaca Fire Department. “Local hardware stores have them in stock.”

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