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Published: Thursday, 3/10/2011

Area communities watch for flooding as rivers start to rise


In the river side town where residents plaster H20VIL on T-shirts and bumper stickers, the mighty, and mighty muddy, Maumee is swirling into low-lying areas and inching towards backyard landscapes as a flood warning remains in effect in Waterville.

With frothy foam bubbling white, the river churned towards a predicted crest near 9.8 feet by late Thursday night. Flood stage is 9 feet. 

In the village, the ball field at the aptly named Waterworks Park was more like a field of streams rather than a field of dreams. River water lapped past the third-base line, heading for home plate. Stacked picnic tables remained dry on nearby higher ground.

At Memorial Park behind the former Waterville School, mallard ducks paddled about, popping color against the murky Maumee. 

Along the river between Waterville and Maumee, several area residents pulled their vehicles over and watched as water rushed along rapids. “Surf’s up, dude,” called out one onlooker.  

Other Toledo area Ohio communities remain under flood warnings, according to the National Weather Service, such as for the Portage River at Woodville; the Tiffin River near Stryker, affecting Defiance, Fulton, and Williams counties; the Maumee River near Defiance, affecting Defiance and Henry counties, and the St. Joseph River affecting Defiance County.

Heavy rainfall this week has triggered the flooding, according to the National Weather Service, and some rivers are expected to continue to rise until Saturday, such as the Maumee River near Defiance where flood stage is 10 feet. The river was at 10.9 feet and rising Thursday morning. The Maumee will rise to a crest near 11.2 feet Thursday night, and fall below flood stage Saturday afternoon, according to the weather service that is forecasting minor flooding.

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