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December 22, 2013 - 10:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather.

City fire is assisting the occupants of a house on Law Street that is being evacuated because of high flood waters.

They're assessing whether to pull the electrical meter on the house.

The house is surrounded by two feet of water.

While on scene, the commander reports that a vehicle is now on Law Street and seems to be floating in the water.

Meanwhile, on Watson, the sewer supervisor is requested to the scene because there is apparently a sewer back-up.

UPDATE 12:18 a.m.: The residents who requested to be evacuated were. All of the other households on Law were checked by firefighters. Residents either didn't have basements and all of their utility connections were above water, or they had already shut off their utilities. A firefighter confirmed the car in the top photo did float a bit. The driver was cited and a family member picked her up.

December 22, 2013 - 9:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, alexander, Pavilion, weather.

Here are more flood pictures from this afternoon. The first three I took and the rest are from readers.

Above, the Tonawanda Creek at the bend off South Main Street. 

This is the back of Nate Fix's property, which 18 months ago the DEC carved up a bit to build new flood control.

Peaviner Road. The roadway is to the right side of the picture.

Photo submitted by Steve Ognibene. The vehicle stalled on Jackson Avenue. According to Steve, the driver was cited and the car was towed.

Ron Burroughs kayaking on Ganson Avenue. Submitted by Diane Burroughs.

Maria Casper submitted these two pictures of Philip, Kayla and Andrew kayaking in Kibbe Park.

Flooding in Pavilion submitted by Brittany Hart.

December 22, 2013 - 8:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

A woman is trapped inside her stalled vehicle near the flooded intersection of Law and Walnut streets. City fire is responding along with a public works crew.

UPDATE 8:08 p.m.: City fire reports the woman is out of her vehicle and inside the fire truck. The vehicle will be left there until the floodwaters recede and it can be towed away.

December 22, 2013 - 6:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents.

A two-vehicle accident with possible serious injuries is reported on the eastbound Thruway near mile marker 388.2, by the college. There is "serious entrapment" and at least two people are injured. Town of Batavia, with all available manpower, and two Mercy medic rigs are responding.

UPDATE 6:38 p.m.: Mercy Flight is put "in air." Eastbound traffic is heavy and the lanes are blocked and backing up. A third ambulance is requested. Le Roy rescue is also called in.

UPDATE 6:42 p.m.: Oakfield fire is requested to stand by in Town of Batavia fire station number 1.

UPDATE 6:45 p.m.: The entrapment is characterized as "extreme" by a responder, involving the dashboard. Traffic is heavily backed up. "We'll be trying to land this bird on the Thruway when it's time."

UPDATE 6:47 p.m.: In conjuction with the state Thruway Authority, the eastbound Thruway is shut down and traffic will be required to exit in Batavia. Mercy Flight is circling over the scene, preparing to land.

UPDATE 6:55 p.m.: The Mercy Flight crew is told that their patient is a male, about 30 years old, in need of "significant extrication" efforts. He is said to have moderate injuries, and an altered mental status. His complaints include chest pain and difficulty breathing. A heavy wrecker will be needed to tow a semi truck. The second vehicle involved is possibly a pickup truck.

UPDATE 7:08 p.m.: Patient(s) extricated.

UPDATE 7:18 p.m.: The patient requiring Mercy Flight transport is loaded on the helicopter, which will soon be airborne.

UPDATE 7:21 p.m.: Mercy Flight is airborne and headed to Strong Memorial Hospital.

UPDATE 7:24 p.m.: Le Roy is back in service. The three Mercy units are clearing the Thruway scene. The eastbound Thruway will be opened to a single lane. Town of Batavia is picking up and preparing to go back in service. State Police are on scene. Two flatbed tow trucks are en route.

UPDATE 8:15 p.m.: The Town of Batavia assignment is back in service, along with Oakfield which provided standby assistance, and the eastbound Thruway is reopened.

This photo, submitted by a reader.

December 22, 2013 - 6:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Walnut Street.

Batavia PD officers were kept busy this afternoon just trying to keep drivers from boating through an obviously flooded Oak Street.

Even once the street was closed by authorities, drivers still wanted to head either north or south.

Shawn Hargrave, who lives across from Hackett TV on Walnut, watched the cars go by and the police try to deal with it.

For awhile, there was an officer parked in front of her house, blocking traffic before the signs went up.

"There were a lot of people pulling up, walking to his window and complaining that they couldn't drive through," she said.

Once the signs went up, that still wasn't a deterrent to drivers who took "street closed" as merely a suggestion.

"We watched a newer Jeep come down and the driver stopped and he got out and moved the barriers," Hargrave said. "Unfortunately, he left the barricade open and some cars almost got stuck in the floodwaters."

Once the signs were up on the south side of the flooded section of street, a police officer still needed to be stationed on the north side to keep drivers from trying to go around the barricades.

Hargrave watched northbound driver after driver roll up to the barricades in front of her house and seemingly contemplate whether to go through before deciding to turn around.

Perhaps the most frustrated drivers to come up to the barricade were truck drivers.

The drivers were likely trying to make their way toward Pavilion, but hit the road closed sign on Route 20 at the bridge over the Tonawanda just west of Brookville Road, Alexander.

They got off Route 20 and headed north.

When they hit the road closed sign on Route 98, they had to back up all the way to First Student's parking lot in order to turn around.

Hargrave said she called NYS DOT to suggest truckers be redirected, but the DOT never responded with its own sign.

Tim Yaeger, emergency coordinator for Genesee County, and Jim Bouton, also a coordinator with the Office of Emergency Management, set up a message board sign at Route 98 and Route 20 trying to warn truckers that the road was close ahead.

But even after the sign was up, truckers still headed north. Yaeger said he was going to try to get a "local traffic only" sign posted either at Pike Road or Rose Road to encourage truckers to turn left onto those roads. The detour would lead them to Route 5 so they could resume their eastward travels.

Emergency Management acquired the $1,500 sign 18 months ago with Homeland Security grant money to use for volunteer recruitment but this was the second time it's been pressed into service an emergency.

Flooding on the Tonawanda is expected to peak at 12 feet at 7 tonight.

Yaeger and Bouton setting up road closed sign.

Below are photos submitted by Walnut Street resident Krystle Robinson of activity on Walnut Street this afternoon. Cars going through the water may have been going through at times when barriers were not in place.

December 22, 2013 - 4:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in scanner.

A public works crew member is heard on the scanner saying "They're kayaking on Ganson." His coworker responds "I guess they're making the best of a bad situation."

December 22, 2013 - 1:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

Kiwanis Park, Batavia. Submitted by Keira Stehlar.

Law and Walnut, Batavia. Submitted by Phil Adamski.

Berries and ice. Submitted by Jason Smith.

National Grid replacing a fallen utility pole in East Bethany. Submitted by Doug Yeomans.

Fog and ice. Submitted by Scott Ogle.

Jackson Avenue. Submitted by Steve Ognibene.

Kibbe Park. Submitted by Steve Ognibene.

Tonawanda Creek, behind the Courthouse. Submitted by Kyle Couchman.

December 22, 2013 - 1:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather.

Tonawanda Creek, behind the courthouse.

The location of the manmade falls/dam on the Tonawanda behind the courthouse.

The Upton Monument and the Old Courthouse, Ellicott and Main.

Law Street, Batavia.

Kibbe Park, Batavia.

Kibbe Park, Batavia.

National Grid crews on Trumbull Parkway.

Centennial Park, Batavia.

Centennial Park, Batavia.

Centennial Park, Batavia.

Outside City Church, East Main Street, Batavia.

December 22, 2013 - 12:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

The following roads and streets are closed because of flooding:

  • Railroad Avenue, Alexander
  • Peaviner Road, Alexander
  • Old Creek Road, between Brookville and Creek Road, Alexander
  • Cookson Road, Alexander
  • Dorman Road, Alexander
  • Route 20 at Brookville Road (truck traffic being rerouted to Route 98 and Route 63)
  • Bloomingdale Road at Griffin Road, Alabama
  • Stegman Road between Route 5 and Powers Road, Pembroke
  • Route 98 (Walnut Street), by city DPW
  • Law Street, Batavia
  • Ganson Avenue, Batavia
  • Jackson Avenue, Batavia

Weather radar shows more rain coming.

If you know of a road closed because of flooding that isn't on this list, e-mail [email protected].

December 22, 2013 - 4:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather, Bethany, Stafford.

More than 2,100 National Grid customers are without power and have been since about 2 a.m.

Freezing rain apparently caused some transformer issues.

The outage area is triangle-shaped with the western tip near Clinton Street Road just north of East Main Street and spreading east nearly to Le Roy with the northern boundary just north of the Thruway and southern edge running along Route 63 to East Bethany.

National Grid expects power to be restored by 5:30 a.m.

UPDATE 5:17 a.m.: Earlier this morning, the power outage affected 4,538 customers. And, emergency dispatchers are aware there are people in the county without power. No, they can't help you get your power restored. It's best to restrict calls to dispatchers in situations like this to actual emergencies or others calls for service.

UPDATE 5:50 a.m.: There are multiple reports throughout the county of wires down, wires arcing and flooded basements. Town of Batavia's chief has requested all available manpower to the two fire halls to be ready for new incoming calls.

UPDATE 10:35 a.m.: There are at least a dozen power outage areas in Genesee County. The two largest at the moment are in the Elba area, with 317 customers without power. Power has been out since 4:49 a.m. and a repair crew is not yet assigned to the outage. In Bergen, 1,060 customers are without power. The outage started at 7:04 a.m. and there's no ETA for repairs. Fire departments from throughout the county are still handling calls for power lines down, trees down and cellar pump details.

UPDATE 12:19 p.m.: The largest power outage reported in the county now is in the Byron area, 838 customers. Power reported out at 5:01 a.m. A repair crew is assigned. No ETA for repairs.

December 22, 2013 - 3:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

One person was killed early this morning when a passenger vehicle and semi-truck hit head on on Route 63, just south of Shepard Road, Town of Batavia.

The location is just yards south of the former Rosie's Diner.

Town of Batavia fire is on scene. The accident is being investigated by the Sheriff's Office Crash Management Team. A coroner is in route.

Route 63 is closed in both directions.

UPDATE: John P. Dow, of Pavilion, was pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Donald Coleman. Dow was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Envoy southbound on Route 63. Truck driver Iqbal S. Dhadda, 35, of Brampton, Ontario, Canada, said Dow's vehicle crossed completely into the northbound lane. The SUV and truck hit head-on. According to a Sheriff's Office press release, impairment may have been a factor in the crash. The accident was reported at 1:42 a.m. Dhadda was not seriously injured.

The accident investigation is being conducted by Deputy Joseph Corona, Deputy Frank Bordonaro, Deputy Jason Saile, Deputy John Duyssen and investigator Roger Stone. Assisting at the scene were Batavia PD, State Police, Town of Batavia fire and Bethany fire.

December 21, 2013 - 5:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports.

Genesee Community College is hosting a four-week baseball camp starting Jan.19. Genesee Head Coach Skip Sherman will direct the program in conjunction with U.S. Baseball Academy.

Classes are available for players in grades 1-12 and are limited to six players per coach. Sessions are offered in advanced hitting, pitching, catching, fielding and base running.

Proceeds from the program benefit amateur baseball in Batavia. Space is limited. Registration is now under way. For more information, visit, or call toll-free 866-622-4487.

December 21, 2013 - 5:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC.

Press release:

The Board of Trustees is inviting faculty, staff, students and community residents to nominate individuals for honorary Genesee Community College associate degrees, Trustee Laurie J. Miller said at Monday evening's board meeting.

Nominees must be individuals who have an association with Genesee Community College, and who have made extraordinary contributions to the life and growth of the College; or who are notable leaders in academic disciplines taught by the College; or individuals who have earned business, professional, civic or scholarly accomplishments. Honorary degrees will be awarded during the May 2014 commencement ceremonies, Miller said.

Nomination forms are available on the College's Web site at:

New York State law was amended six years ago to permit community colleges to award honorary degrees. Past honorary degree recipients at Genesee Community College include founding president Alfred C. O'Connell (2007); former Genesee County Board of Supervisors Chair William W. Stuart (posthumously in 2007); founding trustee and college advocate Neil T. Burns (2007); founding and longtime trustee Anthony T. Zambito (posthumously in 2008); Genesee's first staff member, Eva L. Bohn (2011).

In other business Monday evening, the Board of Trustees:

  • Heard Diane D. Torcello, Finance Committee chair, report that Lumsden and McCormick, LLC, the College's auditing firm, completed the fiscal audit for the 2012-2013 year, and issued a "clear, clean" audit without deficiencies. Torcello also said that first quarter operations were consistent with budget projections.
  • Heard President James Sunser report that 340 students are currently finishing their coursework in the fall semester and upon successful completion they will be candidates for graduation in January. Specifically, there are 145 A.S. degree (Associate in Science); 165 A.A.S. (Associate in Applied Science; 6 A.A. (Associate in Arts); and 24 Certificate graduation candidates from GCC in January 2014.
  • Heard Virginia M. Taylor, Ed.D, vice president for Student and Enrollment Services, report that the College's "Winterim" session has enrolled 114 students, up from the 35 students enrolled from Winterim last year. Winterim offers online credit courses between the fall and spring semesters.
  • Heard President Sunser report on the appointment of two new staff members. Doreen Bortle will serve as technical assistant in the Math/Science and Career Education office as a testing associate. She has taught GCC's First Year Experience course as an adjunct faculty member for the past three years. Bortle received her B.S. degree from SUNY Brockport and resides in Batavia. After numerous years serving as an advisor in GCC's Student Support Services area, Theresa Gorecki is now the technical specialist in the College's Career Services office. The position is funded through a Perkins Grant as a temporary appointment. Gorecki earned her M.S. in Elementary Education from Medaille College and her B.S. in English from SUNY Empire State College. She resides in Batavia. "Both of these employees have been working at Genesee for some time in a part-time capacity," President Sunser said. "After conducting a full open search, it was nice that the best candidates were right here already serving the College. I know they bring a lot of institutional understanding to their new roles."

Genesee Community College's Spring 2014 semester opens Jan. 13. To register for courses stop by any campus location or go to:

Academic and financial aid advisors will be available Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Fridays 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; and Saturday, Jan. 11, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. In addition, the offices will be opening at 8 a.m. Jan. 6 - 9, 2014. These hours extend to all seven campus locations:

•    Albion, 456 West Avenue / 585-589-4936

•    Arcade, 25 Edward St. / 585-492-5265

•    Batavia, One College Road / 585-345-6800

•    Dansville, 31 Clara Barton St. / 585-335-7820

•    Lima, 7285 Gale Road / 585-582-1226

•    Medina, 11470 Maple Ridge Road / 585-798-1688

•    Warsaw, 115 Linwood Ave. / 585-786-3010

December 21, 2013 - 5:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, Batavia Youth Center.

Press release:

The Batavia Youth Bureau/Youth Center is pleased to announce this year’s Winter Recess schedule. To accommodate both parents and youth our regular program hours have been adjusted to the following. For the week of Dec. 23 – Jan. 3 the center will be opened from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Special activities as well as a snack will be offered each day. The schedule is as follows:

Monday, Dec. 23rd – Trivia Game Show

Tuesday, Dec. 24th – Closed!

Wednesday, Dec. 25th – Closed!

Thursday, Dec. 26th – Movie Day – Breakfast foods for snack today!

Friday, Dec. 27th – Tournament Triathlon

Monday, Dec. 30th – The Minecraft Games

Tuesday, December 31st – Cookie Decorating

Wednesday, Jan. 1st – Closed!

Thursday, Jan. 2nd – Board Game Olympics

Friday, Jan. 3rd – Crafts and Science Experiments

The Batavia Youth Center is located at 12 MacArthur Drive, right next door to Batavia High School and is open to youth from the ages of 10-19. If you have any questions or would like more information please contact the Batavia Youth Bureau at (585) 345-6420.

December 21, 2013 - 5:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, Darien.

NYS Snowmobile Safety course will be taught at Darien Fire Dept. Hall from 7 to 10 p.m. on Jan. 7 and Part 2 will be given from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 11. The Fire Hall is located on Route 77 in Darien.

The course is free to children from 10 to 18 years of age. New York State’s Snowmobile Law requires that youngsters ages 10-18 acquire a safety certificate before they may lawfully operate a snowmobile. Youngsters may qualify for their safety certificates by taking a safety course and passing the examination given at the end of the course. The course and all materials are furnished free. The course is also open to adults.

The instructors for snowmobile Safety Course are certified by NYS.

You must sign up for the course and attend both classes where you register. All materials for the Snowmobile Safety Course will be furnished. Those that pass the written exam will be issued a patch, certificate, and a license.

If your child is interested in taking the course and would like to lawfully drive a snowmobile, pre-register by calling 585-599-6431 or 585-937-9536 after 5:30 pm.

The class is sponsored by the Millgrove Sportsmen Club, Genesee Sno-Packers Snowmobile Club and CoPeDa Snowmobile Club. Snowmobile trails officially opened on Dec. 18.

December 21, 2013 - 5:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, pembroke, Alabama, indian falls.

A kitchen fire is reported at the Flying J Travel Center on Route 77 in Pembroke. Nothing is showing, according to a responder, but the restaurant is being evacuated. He also says there are no flames and that the fire is probably electrical in nature and is in the ceiling.

Pembroke, Indian Falls and Alabama fire departments responding, along with a ladder truck from Akron.

UPDATE 5:12 p.m.: They are going to open up the ceiling tiles. The gas and electricity are shut off. A light tower will be put up so firefighters can see the roof. A rep from National Grid is requested. A thermal imaging camera is requested.

UPDATE 5:25 p.m.: Fire is out. Checking for extensions.

UPDATE 5:41 p.m.: "The roof is cleared." The public health department will be notified of the incident as required. A crew from Newstead is asked to stand by in Pembroke Fire Hall.

UPDATE 5:46 p.m.: Town of Pembroke Code Enforcement will be notified of the incident as required.

UPDATE 7:21 p.m. (by Howard): The Alabama assignment is back in service, but the restaurant remains close pending code enforcement clearance.

December 21, 2013 - 1:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Oakfield, fire, Alabama.

A house fire with light smoke showing is reported at 32 S. Main St. in Oakfield. Mercy medics are on scene and Oakfield Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from the Town of Batavia and the city's Fast Team. Alabama is asked to fill in at the Oakfield hall.

UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: Alabama is asked to reroute and go to the scene.

UPDATE 1:38 p.m.: National Grid is called to the scene. No ETA.

UPDATE 1:41 p.m.: A thermal imaging camera is requested.

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.: Elba Fire Police are called to shut down traffic at Orchard and Main, and at Main and South Pearl. The fire is knocked down. They are checking for extensions.

December 21, 2013 - 1:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, high school sports, alexander.

Kendall proved to be just a bit much for Alexander to handle Friday night as the Eagles took command of the game in the first period and were never in danger of losing their lead.

The final, 63-41.

Alexander is now 3-2 on the year.

"We definitely had Kendall marked on our calendar," said Head Coach Josh Bender. "I think they're one of the best teams in the GR. They've got all the right pieces. They've got a big guy, athletic guards, shooters, size. It's tough when you don't have a 6'5" guy to battle their center. They're a pretty experienced bunch. Good coach. They run a good system."

The Tigers did a good job of getting good looks for themselves throughout the first half, and a lot of those shots dropped for points.

By the half, the Trojans were already down 37-18.

Kendall almost let Alexander sneak back into the game in the third quarter, scoring only eight points, but the Trojans found their own little scoring slump late in the period and only added 13 points for the eight minutes.

"I told the guys if we want to make a real run at it, we can't trade baskets," Bender said. "We were getting good looks. The high post area was open all night. We had cutters slashing, but at the end of the day, if you're trading baskets with a team like this, you're going to come up short."

Bender, in his first year as varsity coach after three years leading the JV squad, said his team is young yet. Even though it includes seven seniors, none of his starters got many minutes last year, he said.

"I think you'll see down the road, the more games we get in, the more cohesive we'll be and the more effective we'll be in game situations," Bender said.

Nelson Burke led the Trojans with 10 points.

For Kendall, four players were in double digits scoring. D'Andre Nauden, 12, Devin Appleton, 11, Garret Love, 14, and Isaiah Brown, 11.

In other Genesee County hoops action, Friday:

  • Batavia beat Hilton in Hilton, 62-49. Jeff Redband scored 19 points and had 14 rebounds.
  • Wheatland-Chili 56, Batavia Notre Dame 42. The loss ended ND's 70-game league winning streak. Tim McCulley had 18 points.
  • Byron-Bergen 53, Pembroke 48. Dajuandrick Gardner scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Collin Lewis, 17 points. Nick Magin, 18 and Steele Truax 10.

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