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September 22, 2018

Heavy Rain Traps Fishermen, Floods Roads


Heavy rains this afternoon flooded Buccaneer Boulevard at Oswego High School.

Heavy rains this afternoon flooded Buccaneer Boulevard at Oswego High School.

OSWEGO, NY – Thursday’s heavy, continuous rain has caused flooding in many areas around the Port City and trapped more than a dozen anglers in the Oswego River.

The softball diamond at OHS, like many areas around the Port City, was under water Thursday.

The softball diamond at OHS, like many areas around the Port City, was under water Thursday.

About 17 fishermen were on or around an island near the Varick Dam on the west side of the river; the same general area where four others were swept into the river on Tuesday resulting in one death.

When the water level began rising rapidly shortly before noon today, the fishermen retreated onto the island.

They were rescued by members of the Oswego Fire Department.

There were no injuries reported.

The heavy rainfall turned lawns into rushing rivers.

The heavy rainfall turned lawns into rushing rivers.

Parts of Utica Street, near Oswego High School were washed out.

Flooding was so severe that West Utica Street at Hillside Avenue was blocked off for a time this afternoon.

A flood watch remains in effect for all parts of Central New York.

The storm lasted from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and in those 13.5 hours dumped 3.5 inches of rain on the Port City, according to Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service.

“September’s total precipitation came in at 8.64 inches,” he said, adding, “That’s a new record for September. The old record was 7.55 inches in 1975.”

In a 28-hour period that year (Sept. 25 – 26), 5.01 inches of rain fell, Gregway noted.

The weather dampened activities at the final farmers' market of the season in Oswego.

The weather dampened activities at the final farmers' market of the season in Oswego.

The rainfall was “relatively light” Thursday morning, Gregway said.

“It became heavier in the afternoon and the winds picked up, also. All day there wasn’t that much of a wind and then around 4 it switched to northerly and blew hard for a while,” he said.

The temperature stayed in the lower 60s all day, he added.

During that same time period, Fulton received 3.33 inches of rain.

“That is more rain than we had the other 29 days of the month combined, said John Florek, Fulton’s weather watcher.

There were no foggy days during September. Around 2:30 p.m. Thursday, it appeared to be foggy. However, it was actually because the cloud ceiling was so low, according to Gregway.

The flooding was so bad, West Utica Street at Hillside Avenue had to be closed to traffic Thursday afternoon.

The flooding was so bad, West Utica Street at Hillside Avenue had to be closed to traffic Thursday afternoon.

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