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Published: Friday, 4/12/2013

Flooding shuts roads in Hancock, Seneca, Sandusky counties; displaces 3 families


FINDLAY — Flooding today disrupted traffic in Hancock, Seneca, and Sandusky counties, and displaced at least three families in Findlay, authorities said.

In Hancock County, several main roads closed and more than a dozen smaller roads were also affected by high water largely brought up by the rain-swollen waters of the Blanchard River.

Throughout Hancock County, sections of State Rt. 568, county roads 75, 40, 45, and 7, and Marion Township Road 208 were closed today, according to the Hancock County Sheriff's Office. Additionally, between 15 and 20 smaller roads were closed throughout the county, a sheriff's dispatcher said.

Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik said the Blanchard River crested at 14.1 feet in the city about 8:30 a.m. today, causing major flooding in the downtown area and in the southeastern part of the city. The river had receded to 13.99 feet at 4 this afternoon, at which time an unknown number of residents who had voluntarily evacuated their homes Thursday afternoon were on their way home, she said.

The American Red Cross of Hancock County reported that it provided shelter to three families forced out of their homes by the flooding; two the families were able to return to their homes late today.

In Sandusky County, ODOT closed today State Rt. 19 between State Rt. 523 and Leaser Road, on Friday afternoon, while in Seneca County U.S. 224 between State Rt. 100 and State Rt. 67 near Tiffin was also closed earlier today, but has since reopened.

In Ottawa County, State Rt. 105 between US 23 and SR 582 remains closed.

Tom Kines, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather, a private weather forecasting service based in State College, Pa., said the flooding was caused by between an inch and 1.5 inches of rain that fell in the area from Thursday night through this morning. The Blanchard River caused most of the flooding, after rising between three and four feet above its flood stage, Mr. Kines said.

The flooding will likely continue until Saturday when the Blanchard River was expected to fall below its 11-foot flood stage, the senior meteorologist said.

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