Bitter cold air that has already dropped about 20 degrees over the course of today, and is heading below zero overnight, is starting to freeze the water-logged Fall Creek area on Ithaca's northside. A number of roads in the area flooded this morning due to ice dams in Cascadilla Creek.
Flooding on Ithaca's northside. Photo courtesy of Deborah Mohlenhoff.Ithaca Fire Department says flood waters are receding after heavy equipment was brought into town this afternoon to break up the ice build-up in the creek, but several roads were flooded for most of today. Areas of Dey Street, Hancock Street, Lincoln Street, Willow Avenue, Franklin Street, and neighboring blocks are flooded. The Ithaca Police Department encourages area residents to avoid these areas entirely if possible.
The 300 block of Dey Street, Franklin Street from the Piggery east to Cascadilla Creek, and the 400 block of Adams Street are closed to traffic and parking is prohibited until further notice. The 200 and 300 blocks of West Lincoln Street, Short Street, the 100, 200, and 300 blocks of Franklin Street, and the 200 block of Dey Street are reopened to traffic, but parking is prohibited until further notice.
Do not attempt to drive into a flooded roadway, and be extremely cautious about driving on roads without obvious surface water. A little bit of water on pavement could turn into black ice.
City of Ithaca Alderperson Deborah Mohlenhoff encourages Fall Creek area residents who can't drive to their homes to park in nearby parking lots, such as the Neighborhood Pride Grocery lot. Neighborhood Pride's owners have said area residents are welcome to park there tonight.
Some area residents have found their basements flooding, and IPD encourages residents to check their basements and make sure sump pumps are working. The water-saturated ground could freeze tonight and cause further damage to building foundations, water pipes, and storm drains.
Most Ithaca area schools have already announced they're closed tomorrow, with extreme cold and wind chill in the forecast.