Area flood cleanup efforts underway

ALVIN WHEELER, 82, throws soggy belongings from the basement of his rented house at 119 Fox St. onto the yard Saturday. Wheeler said his basement had 18 inches of water as a result of Findlay’s latest flood. (Photo by Kevin Bean)

By THE COURER STAFF

Many Findlay residents spent the weekend dealing with flooded basements and soggy belongings, as cleanup began after the city’s latest flood.

The Blanchard River level tumbled at Findlay after cresting Friday at 16.5 feet, the fifth-highest crest on record.

It was the worst flood to hit the Blanchard River watershed since February 2008.

The river fell below minor flood stage — 11 feet — at around 3:30 a.m. Sunday. By 10 p.m. Sunday, the river level at Findlay was 4.19 feet.

Minor flood stage at Findlay starts at 11 feet, moderate flood stage starts at 12 feet, and major flood stage begins at 13.5 feet.

Downstream at Ottawa, the Blanchard River level was down slightly at 25.55 feet at 10:30 p.m., which is considered minor flooding there. The river crested at Ottawa at 1 p.m. Saturday at 27.55 feet.

At 27 feet, flooding affects downtown Ottawa and the south side of the village. High water was reported on parts of U.S. 224 and Ohio 65 in Ottawa.

The weather service said it expected the river to fall below flood stage at Ottawa by early today.

The flooding occurred after 3 to 5 inches of rain fell on the area Wednesday night.

All Findlay roads and most rural roads in Hancock County have reopened, the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office and Findlay Police Department reported Sunday afternoon.

On Thursday and Friday, the Findlay Fire Department evacuated a number of people from flooded homes, and rescued stranded motorists.

The City of Findlay said it will pick up flood-damaged debris on Tuesday. Any debris damaged by floodwater needs to be placed at the curb no later than 7 a.m. that day.

Only flood-damaged debris will be picked up, throughout the city.

Findlay’s green waste site is closed through today due to the flooding. The site will reopen Tuesday.

Hancock County landfill hours will be extended today through Friday this week to aid flood cleanup efforts, Commissioner Brian Robertson said. Landfill hours this week will be from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Robertson said the commissioners are working with the hardest-hit townships (Marion and Liberty) to contract for additional flood debris removal, beginning today with Marion Township.

The commissioners will provide further scheduling details for Liberty Township on Tuesday.

Other township trustees needing assistance should contact the commissioners’ office.

HATS, the Findlay and Hancock County transportation service, will be offering free bus rides today, Tuesday and Wednesday because of the flood.

The Hancock County United Way is sponsoring the effort because of concern about individuals needing transportation due to the flooding. Vehicles may be damaged by floodwaters, the United Way said.

HATS is public bus transportation and trips are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Same-day service may be available.

To schedule a trip call HATS at 419-423-7261 and follow the prompts.

The Findlay-Hancock County Public Library has recovered from the flood more quickly than expected, and reopened on Sunday.



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