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Published: Friday, 7/28/2006

Heavy rain puts area on lookout for flooding

BY MEGHAN GILBERT
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Thunderstorms last night and early today were once again dumping heavy rain on northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan, prompting the National Weather Service to issued a flash flood watch for the entire area.

As 1.9 inches of rain fell at Toledo Express Airport in an hour, starting about 10 p.m., the weather service upgraded the flood watch to a flood warning for Lucas County.

Up to three more inches was expected by 1:30 a.m. today, with the storms expected to move out of the area by midmorning.

The weather service also said that more than two inches of rain fell in a hour - between 9:30 and 10:30 last night - in parts of Fulton and Williams counties. Up to 1.5 inches more was expected through 1:30 this morning.

Toledo Edison was reporting scattered power outages in Lucas, Fulton, Ottawa, Sandusky, and Williams counties.

Workers with the Toledo Department of Public Utilities were called to duty about 6:30 last night in the already saturated neighborhood around Crawford Avenue in West Toledo in preparation for the rains.

Heavy rains, beginning June 21, have caused Shantee Creek to overflow into nearby streets and basements during storms.

Late evening downpours hadn't caused flooding by 10:45 last night, said Brian Schwartz, spokesman for Mayor Carty Finkbeiner.

"The pumps are staged. Our people are standing by," he said. "If necessary, they'll be placing the sandbags out there on Crawford."

A tropical air mass sitting over the region was pushed eastward by a cold front producing multiple, slow-moving storms, said Dennis Bray, a meteorologist at the weather service's office in Cleveland.

"The whole line is going slowly to the east. If it was really fast moving, that would be to our benefit because it wouldn't drop as much rain," Mr. Bray said last night.

"The thunderstorms are moving over the same area, so it's getting repeatedly dumped on and it's moving slow. One storm just trails another."

The storms, moving about 25 mph, were not expect to produce any strong winds and only very small hail, if any, Mr. Bray said. "Just a lot of rain and a lot of lightning," he said.

Later today, it will be mostly cloudy with a high of 85. There is a chance of rain tomorrow night.

Early next week should remain dry. Hot and humid weather is expected early in the week with temperatures in the 90s and heat indices of about 100 degrees, Mr. Bray said.

Staff writer Mark Zaborney contributed to this report.

Contact Meghan Gilbert at:

mgilbert@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050.



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