OTTAWA — Flooding from the recent heavy rainfall and snow is expected to be worse than previously thought, according to forecasters, and it already closed a major route in Ottawa.The National Weather Service has upped projected crests for the Blanchard River in Findlay and Ottawa from earlier estimates. In Findlay, Tuesday's estimate predicted a crest of 13.1 feet has been upped to 13.7 feet. In Ottawa, the prediction of 24.3 feet has been increased to 27.1 feet.Ottawa Development Director Jeff Loehrke said U.S. 224 was closed around 4 p.m. Wednesday. He said some businesses on the west part of downtown will be affected, and state Route 65 may be closed as well soon. He expects U.S. 224 to be closed west of 65 until at least Friday morning. Ottawa-Glandorf Schools are on a two-hour delay do to the flooding.“This will affect, definitely, some local businesses,” he said. Loehrke was hopeful the crest would be a little lower than predicted. If the forecast holds, it would be the 11th-worst flood on record, he said.The predicted crest is short of the 29-foot mark that would bring water into downtown, he said.“There's quite a bit of road closures through the county,” he said. “We have mobilized. We do have sandbags and sand available at the village garage.”The crest of the Auglaize River at Fort Jennings, meanwhile, is projected to be slightly lower than first thought.National Weather Service meteorologist Evan Bentley said the area received more precipitation than anticipated. He said the latest forecast should be accurate within a few inches. “For the most part, they should be pretty close at this point now that the rain has stopped,” he said. Flood warnings remain in effect for Allen, Hancock, Putnam and Van Wert counties.Forecasters said steady rain, snow and the saturated ground will lead to some minor to moderate flooding issues across the region.
Ottawa, Findlay flooding outlook worse, blocks highway