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December 24, 2013 - 12:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accident.

A two-car accident with minor injuries is reported at Richmond Avenue and Union Street. City fire and Mercy medics are responding. Police are on scene.

UPDATE 1:01 p.m.: One patient was transported to UMMC.

December 24, 2013 - 11:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Walnut Street/Route 98 has reopened.

December 24, 2013 - 10:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

A car fire is reported at 14 S. Main St., Batavia.

City fire is responding.

UPDATE 10:51 a.m.: City fire on scene. Fire appears to be out.

December 24, 2013 - 9:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A woman reportedly fell in the parking lot of 226 Ellicott St., Batavia, and then a car rolled over her.

The woman has since stood up.

Batavia fire and Le Roy ambulance are responding (all Mercy EMS ambulances are tied up).

UPDATE 9:49 a.m.: The woman was not struck by the vehicle. City fire reports, "she more or less fell under the car." The responding ambulance (which may be Mercy EMS now) can come in non-emergency.

December 24, 2013 - 9:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Press release:

The City of Batavia is pleased to announce the completion of its new Web site for City residents, businesses and visitors. As part of the City’s Strategic Plan to improve public communications and access to public information, the City has developed a Web site that includes interactive ways to communicate with residents, businesses and visitors. 

New features of the Web site include online service requests designed to reduce response time by encouraging users to e-mail requests directly to the managing City department and e-news subscriptions allowing users to register to receive e-mail notifications when specific information of their interest is posted to the Web site. In addition, the public can also sign up to receive text alerts when urgent alerts, such as water line breaks or emergencies, are posted on the Web site. 

The City's new Web site provides comprehensive community information and helps the user gain an appreciation for the many positive things the City of Batavia community has to offer in a user-friendly way. The newly added Business, Residents & Visitors sections provide access to an abundance of community information and resources, while the Web site calendar allows users to view community events by department, event, public meetings or notices.

Sixth Ward Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian said, “The Batavia site is more than I expected -- it’s outstanding! Residents are now able to search the site from weather to demographics to printing the STAR exemptions and reading meeting agendas and minutes. Everything anyone needs can be found on the new site, job well done.”

Councilman-at-Large Brooks Hawley added “I'm proud of being part of a City that puts out such a modern and professional looking Web site. It is easy to navigate for residents, businesses and visitors. The pictures and information on the Web site are a great way to highlight the many wonderful aspects of the City. I encourage all residents to check out the Web site and give us feedback with the online survey."

The City's Web site address is still www.batavianewyork.com. All users are encouraged to explore the site, take the Web site survey and provide feedback. Suggestions and comments will be used to continue to improve the Web experience for all users.

December 23, 2013 - 5:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A one-vehicle rollover accident is reported in the area of 7736 Oak Orchard Road, Batavia.

There's one occupant and he's saying he's not injured.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 5:07 p.m.: Responders are told to proceed with caution. Several vehicles reportedly off the road in the area.

UPDATE 5:35 p.m.: Another no-injury rollover accident reported in Batavia, at 3427 Batavia Elba Townline Road.

December 23, 2013 - 4:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, GCEDC, Batavia Towne Center, COR Development.

The Town of Batavia Planning Board will hold a public hearing Jan. 7 to consider an application for a subdivision of property in Batavia Towne Center.

The subdivision would make it possible for Kohl's Department Store to own its own property inside the shopping center, much like Target does now.

Kohl's would be purchasing the parcel from COR Development.

In June, the Genesee County Economic Development Center Board approved $1.8 million in new tax abatements for COR (on top of the $4.6 million in tax breaks COR received from GCEDC in 2006), ostensibly to attract new businesses that provide goods or services not readily available in Genesee County.

Kohl's is a department store chain that sells furniture, clothing, bed and bath items and other general merchandise.

The store will be located where Lowe's once had its garden center, just south of the new Dick's Sporting Goods.

To the north of Dick's will be a Five Below and possibly Marshall's; both are discount retailers.

In order for Kohl's to own its own parcel, the property currently owned by COR must be subdivided.

All subdivisions must go through a public hearing, which is a chance for the public to learn the facts of the project relevant to the subdivision and comment on the issue.

The same process was used to subdivide Batavia Towne Center for Target. A portion of the tax breaks secured by COR in 2006 are now applied to the Target property.

While it's possible for Kohl's to apply to transfer tax abatements received by COR to the new parcel, Rachael Tabelski, director of marketing and communications for GCEDC, said the agency has yet to receive an application for the tax abatements from Kohl's.

The hearing will be held at Batavia Town Hall, 3833 W. Main Street Road, Batavia, at 7:30 p.m., Jan. 7. Written comments will be accepted prior to that date.

December 23, 2013 - 2:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Batavia PD is investigating a possible attempted larceny inside City Centre.

A person, possibly white male wearing a hoodie, grabbed something from a stand inside City Centre. A woman yelled for somebody to call the cops.

The suspect was last seen heading toward State Street.

The property, whatever it was, was recovered.

The victim is declining prosecution, so officers are advised that if the suspect is located, he's to be advised he's no longer allowed in the business.

December 23, 2013 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, history, weather.

When the Tonawanda Creek crested at 11.94 feet at 6:30 p.m. yesterday, it wasn't anywhere near its historical high.

In March, 1942, the river overflowed at 14.5, making the resulting flood the worst in Batavia history.

It caused an estimated $500,000 damage and put many people out of their homes for days.

Greg Brockway, of Pembroke, brought in these two pictures this morning from the 1942 flood.  They were taken on the Southside in the area of the Jackson School showing Hutchings, Otis and Swan.

The last time the Tonawanda crested over 12 feet (considered the major flood level) was 1998 when it hit 12.44. It hit 11.71 in December 2008, and twice in 2009 it exceeded 10.5 feet, once in February and again in March.

The creek has crested at more than 10 feet on 24 ocassions in the more than 60 years the National Weather Service has been measuring creek levels.

December 23, 2013 - 12:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, byron, Le Roy, Pavilion, corfu.

Amy Lynn Showler, 38, of South Manhattan Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and trespass. Showler is accused of stealing $7.76 in merchandise from Walmart.

A 17-year-old resident of Main Street, Corfu, is charged with trespass. The youth allegedly entered a residence on Lovers Lane Road without the owner's permission.

Dimetrious Trudell Williams, 24, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawfully dealing with a child. Williams allegedly supplied alcohol to a person under age 21.

Molly Ann Kirsch, 24, of Bonnie Brea Drive, Darien, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving left of pavement markings in a no passing zone and failure to keep right. Kirsh was stopped at 12:08 a.m. Saturday on Sumner Road, Darien, by Deputy Jason Saile.

Aaron Matthew Zastrocky, 29, of Mill Street, Le Roy, is charged with felony DWI, moving from lane unsafely, speed unreasonable for conditions and no seat belt. Zastrocky was allegedly the driver involved in a motor-vehicle accident reported at 11:18 p.m. Dec. 20 on Lake Road, Le Roy. The accident was investigated by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Joshua David Quaintance, 25, of Byron Road, Bryon, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Quaintance is accused of punching the window out of a vehicle on Townline Road, Byron.

Andrei Karpovich, 42, of Ibis Club Drive, Naples, Fla., is charged with harassment, 2nd. Karpovich allegedly slamming the hand of another person in a truck door during an argument at the Flying J at 5:54 p.m. Dec. 18.

Wendy J. Nelson, 44, of Le Roy, is charged with petit larceny. Nelson is accused of stealing from Walmart.

Scott F. McColl, 42, of Pavilion, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and unlawful possession of marijuana. McColl was stopped at 10:05 p.m. Thursday by State Police on Black Road, Pavilion.

December 23, 2013 - 9:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Walnut Street, weather, Law Street.

Law Street (above, from the western end), and Route 98 (below, from the northern end) remain closed, though the floodwaters have receded significantly since last night.

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, accident.

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 - 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 - 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.

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