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Centennial park closed due to storm damage

Posted at 6:56 PM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 18:56:04-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park is now closed to cars and pedestrians. City officials say last week's storm brought so much ice onto the land that when it melts, it makes the walkways unsafe.

There's a barricade at the entrance off of Porter Avenue. There's about one mile of damage where the ground is caving in.

“It's common that after a storm we’ll see one or two areas that show signs of caving in. This is above and beyond that, that’s why we’re taking additional precaution to close the park," said Michael Finn, Commissioner of the Department of Public Works.

The storm pushed ice over the seawall onto the land and that ice has now melted, leaving giant holes. This storm left damage worst than in years past.

“In comparison to other years, the water is about 1-2 feet higher, the water on Lake Erie than it normally is," said Commissioner Finn.

The big plan is to give the entire park a makeover, with funding from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation. Commissioner Finn says these repairs should not affect the $50 million project.

Crews will make repairs over a few days, hoping to reopen soon. Later this spring team of divers will inspect the entire sea wall to see what other work needs to be done before the renovation of the park. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will also work at the site.