Residents Recover From Second Flood Of The Year

March 1, 2011 Updated Mar 1, 2011 at 1:22 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

March 1, 2011 Updated Mar 1, 2011 at 1:22 PM EDT

Residents in Sunset Bay are cleaning up after one of the worst floods in five years.

The area surrounding the bay was as slick as an ice-skating rink Tuesday morning after floodwater nearly 30 inches deep in some areas, took over the community. It then turned to ice.

"The mouth of the Cattaraugus Creek had an ice jam develop where it meets Lake Erie as the temperatures fell, the flood water froze," Sunset Bay Fire Department's Assistant Fire Chief Mark Dietzen said.

There was a voluntary evacuation leaving some people with no place to go. That is where the Red Cross stepped in, opening a shelter in a church just up the road for people like Chelse Wilcox.

"It was really nice to know we have a place to go," Wilcox said.

Sarah and Bruce Swanson are Red Cross volunteers. They said a shelter is open for Sunset Bay residents every time the area floods.

"It's very important to have these shelters even if there are not a lot of clients. There were at least 150 who evacuated and many didn't have plans where to go," Sarah Swanson said.

Many people were returning home to assess the damage, Tuesday. Jerry Miller said the clean up is not an easy task.

"Got your major cleaning, mud if it gets into your house everything is ruined and the moisture gets in and there is mold in the walls, just a major mess," Miller said.

This is the second flood this season and official say that is rare. Now, some people including Michael Saccone said this is all part of living on the water.

"I'm a boater a fisherman. I'm not moving," Saccone said.

Others including Nick Kuppel said enough is enough.

"This is my last winter here. I'm not doing this again," Kuppel said.

Officials said this could be it, at least for this winter unless the temperature drops for a long period of time refreezing the creek.

"There's good likelihood this will be the last flood. As far as we know, we teamed up with the Sheriff's Office and flew in the helicopter, we saw open water and hopefully no more ice jam," Dietzen said.

Officials said they can't predict what will happen the rest of the winter. They say that's up to Mother Nature.