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Published: Sunday, 2/23/2014 - Updated: 2 years ago

Ice jams on several NW Ohio rivers prompt flood warnings


VERMILION, Ohio — Rising water caused new ice jams on several northwest Ohio rivers Saturday, prompting new flood warnings from the National Weather Service.

The agency’s Cleveland office issued a flash-flood warning for the Vermilion area Saturday evening after authorities in that Huron County community reported two ice jams — one at a railroad bridge in Vermilion, the other in the Mill Hollow area — that were causing major flooding in the area.

Homes near the river were evacuated, and U.S. 6 was at risk of being flooded. Ice chunks a foot thick are capable of destroying trees and property, forecasters said, so residents along the river should be prepared for “major flood losses.”

Earlier in the day, an ice-jam-related flood warning was issued for the Maumee River after the weather service observed river gauge readings indicative of ice jams near Grand Rapids, Ohio, and Waterville. That warning was allowed to lapse Saturday evening, but minor flooding still was forecast for the Maumee near Waterville because of runoff from recent rain and snow melt.

Ice-covered portions of the rising Maumee and other rivers, including the Tiffin, Auglaize, St. Mary, St. Joseph, Portage, Blanchard, and Huron, all presented a hazard for new ice jams, particularly near bridges, bends, or other areas where river flow is constricted.

Except for areas near ice jams, all flooding was expected to be minor.

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