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Plan proposed to reduce flooding of Ten Mile Creek in Sylvania Township


Ten Mile Creek near Herr Road at times has flooded the nearby homes and businesses.

The Blade/Natalie Trusso Cafarello
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The Lucas County Engineer's office presented the Sylvania Township Trustees with a floodplain study regarding Ten Mile Creek that suggests a $1.4 million drainage project to lower the likelihood of flooding in areas mainly west of Centennial Road.

The study conducted in August was given to the trustees this week. The study looked at a 66.8-square mile area that includes the Herr Road Bridge, properties south of Sylvania Avenue, and the area where the creek meanders east to Centennial Road.

Lucas County Engineer Keith Earley and engineer Robert Neubert gave the trustees a summary of the bottleneck points that clog the waterway. They also had a proposal to construct a side channel storage area to lower the probability of an overflow.

Officials said that Herr Road near the Central Avenue intersection is highly susceptible to flooding, citing times in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2011 when the river that runs under the bridge gushed water, causing the streets to be shut down for several days.

About 40 residences and 11 businesses are directly affected by the flooding in that neighborhood, they said.

“The residence properties collectively pay about $34,000 in flood insurance premiums, while the businesses collectively pay $34,000 a year,” Mr. Neubert said.

The project would require dredging about 1.5 feet from the bottom of Ten Mile Creek where it crosses with Prairie Creek, about 200 feet west of Herr Road, Mr. Earley said. A section of the stream, near Sylvania Avenue, would be widened by 40 feet, in an effort to create a side storage area or drainage channel.

An old railroad bridge abutment and other items that restrict water flow would be removed.

Mr. Earley suggested that the township use a portion of the Lucas County Storm Water Utility funds collected by the county from seven urban townships to pay for the costs.

Each township resident within the county storm water district pays about $4 a month that can be used for water quality and capital improvement projects. The county forecasts it will collect about $810,000 this year from the township. Mr. Earley said a portion of that could go towards the project as it is a capital project.

Township officials are considering the project as it would benefit a large area and reduce the likelihood of flooding for those in the floodplain region.

“We are considering it, as this is the first time we’ve seen it,” Trustee John Crandall said. “This would take some residents out of the floodplain and the process could take up to five years to complete the project.”

If given the green light to move forward, the engineers would have to formulate a final plan to be approved by federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or, or on Twitter @natalietrusso. 

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