Rain pushes Blanchard over banks

MANY FINDLAY and Hancock County roads were awash Saturday and Sunday after more than 2 inches of rain fell on the area Saturday, causing Eagle Creek and the Blanchard River to flood. This watery scene Saturday was on Marion Township 212, between Ohio 12 and U.S. 224. (Photo by Amy Herbert)

By THE COURIER STAFF

Fueled by more than 2 inches of rain Saturday, the Blanchard River once again overflowed its banks in Findlay before cresting Sunday evening short of major flood stage.

According to the National Weather Service, 2.66 inches of rain fell in Findlay Saturday, pushing the river over its banks and closing many city and county roadways.

The river reached minor flood stage at 11 feet at 1 a.m. Sunday. The river crested at 13.04 feet at 5 p.m., which is in the moderate stage. Major flood stage is 13.5 feet.

The river dropped to 12.68 feet by 9 p.m. It is expected to fall below flood stage at Findlay sometime this morning.

Eagle Creek also flooded, cresting at 10.81 feet, which is moderate flood stage, at 7:45 a.m. Sunday. By 11 p.m. Sunday it had dropped below flood stage at 6.84 feet.

Saturday’s storm produced the most rain that Findlay has ever had at once in the month of November, Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik said Sunday.

“We saw a moderate flood with minimal disruption” and no loss of life, she said.

Floods at this level don’t cause the problems that they once did, because Findlay has “removed a lot of the structures that are immediately adjacent to the floodway,” Mihalik said.

The acquisition and demolition of structures in the floodway has been a major ongoing project, the mayor said.

This weekend’s high water resulted in a few water rescues when people drove into high water, the mayor said, but no rescues from houses that she was aware of.

In one case, the Findlay Fire Department sent two fire engines and a utility vehicle with a boat to a water rescue near 1401 S. River Road on Saturday night. According to the fire department, a man became stranded in his vehicle in knee-deep water around 11:21 p.m. A firefighter walked to the car and assisted the man to a nearby parking lot. The boat was not used.

Numerous city streets were closed Sunday because of high water, but the Main Street bridge remained open. Among the closings were the Blanchard Street intersections with Clinton Street and High Street, as well as the outside lanes of Blanchard between East Main Cross and High Streets, Findlay police reported. The East Main Cross Street intersections at East Street and Bright Road also were closed.

In the county, sections of U.S. 224, U.S. 68, Ohio 613, Ohio 186, Ohio 12 and Ohio 103 were covered with high water or closed Sunday as were many county and township roads.

Downstream at Ottawa, the Blanchard River crested Sunday afternoon, the weather service reported.

The river crested in Ottawa’s minor flood stage at 23.37 feet at 2:30 p.m. Minor flood stage starts at 23 feet.

By 6:30 p.m. Sunday, the river had dropped to 23.06 feet.

Lowland flooding also occurred throughout Seneca, Hancock and Wood counties, including the city of Fostoria.



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