By COURIER STAFF
The National Weather Service is predicting moderate flooding by the rain-swollen Blanchard River in Findlay, with water rising above the 11-foot flood stage this afternoon and cresting near 12.2 feet early Saturday morning.
The river will then fall below flood stage by Saturday evening, the weather service said Thursday night.
Flood warnings were issued for both the river and Eagle Creek.
About 1.26 inches of rain fell Thursday, according to measurements taken at the Findlay Airport, and total rainfall of 2 to 3 inches is likely across northwestern Ohio by Saturday night, the weather service said.
The river’s minor flood stage at Findlay begins at a height of 11 feet. Moderate flood stage starts at 12 feet, and major flood stage begins at 13.5 feet.
At 1 a.m. today the river level was 6.93 feet and rising.
When the river level reaches 8 feet, water covers low-lying portions of South River Road and Howard Street on the west side of Findlay.
At 9 feet, flooding occurs on low-lying roads along the river west of Findlay, including Hancock County 140.
At 10 feet, water reaches East Main Cross Street near Lye Creek.
At 11 feet, flooding affects areas near Riverside Park and East Main Cross Street.
If the river level rises to 12 feet, as predicted, water will reach River Street and Apple Alley on the west side of Findlay, Blanchard Street between Sandusky and Main Cross streets near downtown, and several streets south of Clinton Court near Riverside Park.
If more rain falls than expected, the Blanchard River level could reach major flood stage, the weather service said.
At 13 feet, floodwaters impact East Sandusky Street, Main Cross Street, Blanchard Street, Clinton Court, and many other streets near the river. Backwater affects residents living along Eagle and Lye creeks.
The weather service also issued a flood warning starting Thursday night for Eagle Creek, which feeds into the Blanchard River at Findlay.
Minor flooding by Eagle Creek begins at 9 feet, moderate flood stage is 10 feet, and major flood level is 11 feet.
Eagle Creek’s level was 8.7 feet and rising at 2 a.m. today.
The weather service said the creek would rise above flood stage overnight and continue to rise to near 9.6 feet this morning. “Additional rises are possible,” the weather service said.
At 10 feet, water from the creek reaches portions of South Blanchard Street, Brookside Drive, Fremont and Graceland avenues. The intersections of Beechmont Drive with Fairmont and Rosemont Drives flood.
Lye Creek, which also feeds into the Blanchard River at Findlay, did not appear to be rising early today. The creek level was 4.42 feet at 2 a.m. today. Its minor flood stage starts at 6 feet.
City officials said sandbags will be available for Findlay residents 24 hours a day at 224 W. Crawford St. while the flood threat remains.
As of 11:30 p.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service was predicting Findlay could see:
- Another half-inch to three-quarters of an inch of rain overnight.
- Today, between a half-inch and three-quarters of an inch possible.
- Tonight: Less than a tenth of an inch possible.
- Saturday and Saturday night: less than two-tenths of an inch possible.
Findlay is also asking those who live in areas that are prone to flash flooding to be prepared. Residents are urged to check sump pumps to make sure they are working properly, and to elevate items in basements that are prone to flooding.
A significant risk of flash flooding exists over the coming days, the weather service said.
Because of muddy conditions, the city’s green waste site is closed. The site is expected to reopen Tuesday.
Total rainfall of 2 to 3 inches is likely across northwestern Ohio, the National Weather Service said, and a flood watch was issued for Hancock, Henry, Putnam, Seneca, Wood and Wyandot counties through late Friday night.
Downstream at Ottawa, sandbags are available at the Municipal Garage located at 1323 N. Defiance St.
The Blanchard River’s minor flood stage at Ottawa begins at a height of 23 feet. Moderate flood stage starts at 27 feet, and major flood stage begins at 30 feet.
At 1:30 a.m. today, the river level at Ottawa was 17.55 feet and rising.
The weather service predicted minor flooding. It said the river level would rise above flood stage early Saturday, crest near 25.7 feet Sunday morning, and fall below flood stage by late Monday.
At 25 feet, flooding begins along south Walnut and west Second streets on the south side of Ottawa.
Minor flooding also was predicted for the Ottawa River near Kalida, and the Auglaize River near Fort Jennings.