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Published: Thursday, 4/11/2013

Findlay on alert as flood-prone river rises


FINDLAY -- Heavy rain Wednesday into today sent numerous northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan rivers spilling over their banks, with the most extensive flooding expected in the Findlay area.

As of late today, the National Weather Service said the Blanchard River was a foot over its 11-foot flood stage in Findlay, and the agency expected it to rise to four feet above flood stage before cresting after noon Friday. At that level, water will inundate many streets, cutting the city in half and affecting numerous downtown businesses, forecasters said.

Eagle Creek, which flows into the Blanchard, was 1.8 feet above its nine-foot flood stage just upstream of Findlay and was expected to rise nearly another foot this evening before cresting. Eagle Creek was expected to drop back below flood stage by Friday morning, but the Blanchard was forecast to stay high until Saturday.

Flooding had occurred or was forecast to be imminent along numerous other rivers in the region, including the Sandusky River near Tiffin and the upper reaches of the Maumee River. Flood watches were posted for the rest of northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. The watches and warnings followed rainfalls of 2 to 4 inches in the Toledo area.

A lakeshore flood watch was up for Lucas and Ottawa counties because of onshore winds pushing Lake Erie five to six feet above recent average levels, with waves posing a further threat.

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