Buttermilk Falls during an October 2021 rainstorm. Credit: Photo submitted by Ashlie Ervin

UPDATE Oct. 27, 2021 (11:50 a.m.):

People all across Tompkins County are saving furniture, drying out basements and are thankful for some sunshine on Wednesday after a day full of rain flooded streets and crested waters on Tuesday.

Pictures and videos poured in on social media and to the Voice‘s inbox, mainly during the late afternoon to early evening period. Several focused on South Meadow Street in Ithaca, which seemed to face the brunt of the flooding—Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick advised those driving to avoid the 500-600 block of the street, particularly the plaza entrances which were undergoing significant flooding.

Data collected by the United States Geographical Survey shows that Fall Creek reached its highest point in years the morning after the storm. Flood stage is considered 6 feet—Fall Creek, at the point measured, reached 5.27 feet Wednesday, caused by rains both in Ithaca and around the region draining through Fall Creek. The highest the creek was measured at was 11.71 feet in February 1971.

Here are pictures and videos that we either saw or received during the storm:

Cascadilla Creek


Photos provided by Julia de Aragón

Cascadilla Creek falls at Trolley Foot Bridge, just north of Collegetown on Cornell campus. 1:40pm Oct. 26.

Cascadilla Creek Flooding in Ellis Hollow

Photos provided by Reuben Kamp

South Meadow Street in Ithaca



UPDATE (8:30 p.m.): More specific blockages are starting to become apparent, with several videos of flooding on South Meadow Street floating around social media and Mayor Svante Myrick tweeting the following:

UPDATE (6:30 p.m.): The Tompkins County Sheriffs Office has now issued a travel advisory as flooding continues on different, major roadways around Tompkins County.

NYSEG is not showing any significant power outage reports in the county as of 6:45 p.m.

Reader Jesse Hill sends in this picture, showing a glimpse of downtown around 6 p.m. More videos of Buttermilk Falls are below.

Photo by Jesse Hill

Original Story:

TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—Hours of heavy rains have brought flooding to certain parts of Tompkins County, with the county’s Department of Emergency Response publishing a Swift911 alert late Tuesday afternoon advising of likely flash flooding.

“An early season Nor’easter will result in periods of heavy rain through [Tuesday] evening,” said the department in an accompanying press release. “Localized flash flooding is possible, with the National Weather Service issuing a Flash Flood Warning for northeastern Tompkins County until 6:30 p.m.”

The release predicts that the rain should taper off throughout the night and end by Wednesday morning. Rains have been mostly continuous since late Monday evening.

Videos taken by reader Ashlie Ervin show the waters of Buttermilk Falls raging as rain fell Tuesday afternoon.

Video by Ashlie Ervin

The Department of Emergency Response noted that they have fielded “several” calls due to flooded roadways and basements, and said that lakefront properties along Cayuga Lake are likely to face flooding.

Matt Butler is the Editor in Chief of The Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.org.