OTTAWA - Heavy rain recently shouldn't spell major trouble for the oft-flooded Blanchard River, but flash flooding could be a problem across the region.
There is a thunderstorm warning in Van Wert and Allen counties. A severe thunderstorm was seen on a line extending from Ohio City in Van Wert County. It includes 60 mph wind gusts and penny-size hail.
Much of the area is under a flash flood watch, according to the National Weather Service. Expected thunderstorms today could produce very heavy rainfall. When combined with already saturated soil conditions, that could cause flash flooding. The alert was extended until 4 p.m. today for Allen, Putnam and Van Wert counties and until 8 p.m. for Auglaize, Mercer and Hardin counties.
The Blanchard River in Findlay is in flood stage this morning, reaching 11.01 feet at noon, according to the National Weather Service. Flood stage at 11 feet could impact areas near Riverside Park and East Main Cross Street inside Findlay. It's expected to peak at 11.1 feet at 2 p.m. today.
Ottawa, being downstream from Findlay, will see its greatest impact later. It appears the river will reach action stage today but avoid minor flood stage. The river remained below flood stage, at 19.62 feet at 12:30 p.m. today. It's forecast to reach action stage of 20 feet later today and will crest at 21 at 2 a.m. Thursday, short of the flood stage of 23 feet.
People are reminded to never drive into a flooded area, as it may be deeper than it appears. Also, children shouldn't play near flooded areas.
Lima-area river levels