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State of Emergency declared in Ontario County as Flash flooding blocks roads, floods homes and build

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (WROC) – Heavy rainfall in Ontario County led to massive flash floods around Canandaigua. Authorities say several inches of rain fell in just a two-hour period prompting New York Governor Kathy Hochul to declare a state of emergency Sunday night.

The Happiness House is a local non-profit serving those living with disabilities. It’s located on the west side of Canandaigua. Sunday afternoon, water rose higher than the lower- level windows on some of their facilities, prompting evacuations.

Emergency shelter available in Canandaigua

At one point, first responders and employees of Happiness House were relying on boats to evacuate several residents from their single-story buildings as water rushed over the road and turned their parking lot and yards into ponds. 

“We realized that our transition house, which is the little house, was the most vulnerable. So we had three individuals with disabilities that were evacuated by the Town of Canandaigua Fire Department who have been phenomenal with us,” said Diane Kozar, Happiness House Chief Operating Officer. 

Meaghan Shick lives off Short Road. “We asked our neighbors if we could park higher up and they let us park our cars there. Then we have some sandbags and bricks around our house we placed so the water didn’t get into our garage.”

Where Cooley Road intersects with Short Road, the entire street was turned into a river as water came rushing down from overflown ditches and creeks that couldn’t keep up with the rainfall. Several homes had their entire properties engulfed. 

“Five inches in 24 hours is what our Storm Water Managment Supervisor says is a 100-year storm. This all fell within two hours, so he referred to this as a ‘1,000-year storm’,” said Jared Simpson, Town of Canandaigua Supervisor.

On top of road closures and homes surrounded, agriculture in parts of Ontario County also took a hit as farm fields were submerged. Some are worried their crops will be ruined. 

Kaiden Brocklebank’s grandparents are soybean farmers. “It’s soybeans and the water breaks down the crops too much and make it so overly hydrated that it would die.” 

Water has been receding. but Simpson is still cautioning anyone from driving through areas still flooded or only recently cleared up because debris could be in the way. 

“We have logs coming into the road we have other field debris coming into the road. So now with dark coming, if it’s receded there’s no guarantee you’re not going to hit any sort of debris that could be washed into the road. And again, if there’s water, don’t drive through it, ’cause you don’t know how deep it’s going to be.” 


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