Last updated: August 24. 2013 9:05PM - 105 Views

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The weather pattern that led to flooding this week will likely be repeated several times in the next couple of weeks, the first as early as this weekend.“My concern now is the next heavy rain event this weekend, which has the potential of dumping another 1 to 2 inches of rain across our area,” Van Wert County Emergency Management Director Rick McCoy said.That much rain could put Ottawa under another flood watch, Ottawa Community Development Director Jeff Loehrke said.How that much rain will affect Ottawa depends on how fast the Blanchard River recedes.“Right now it's kind of receding slowly,” Loehrke said.National Weather Service forecasts show the next system moving into the area today and continuing into Saturday. Heavy rain is very likely.The St. Marys River could go back up to a crest exceeding 24 feet in Willshire.It crested Thursday morning at 22.4 feet McCoy said.In Auglaize County, EMA Director Troy Anderson is hopeful that more flooding will be avoided. “As long as it's a slow steady rain I think we're going to be OK,” he said.National Weather Service Meteorologist Sara Weisser said that may be the case.“You don't really have the snowfall and it's kind of falling over a longer period,” she said of the coming storm. “As opposed to last time when it all fell in about a six-hour period.”She said that from 7 a.m. today to 7 a.m. Sunday, most places in our region will get about 2 inches of rain, with the heaviest rain Friday night into Saturday morning. Some areas could see more rain if the storms “train” through a particular area, Weisser said.On Thursday, water was around 4 feet deep across state Route 49 going into Willshire. State Route 81 and U.S. Route 33 into Willshire were also closed because of high water McCoy requested on Wednesday that Willshire officials begin sandbagging around several businesses. Van Wert County jail inmates were in Willshire on Wednesday and Thursday helping business owners and fire personnel in getting sandbags in place.An Indiana woman nearly drowned in floodwaters Wednesday in Van Wert County, according to McCoy.Because of detours around Willshire, Margaret Spindler, 82, of Hoagland, Ind., had driven down Harner Road east of Willshire and drove through the high water across the roadway. Her car was swept off the roadway and into the middle of the adjacent field.A witness called 911 at 5:07 p.m. reporting a car in the field.Willshire Fire Department personnel found the car with water up to the top of the doors and radioed Wren EMS and the Decatur Fire Department dive team for assistance. When the rescue boat made it to the car, they found the woman in water up to her head.Spindler was unresponsive and suffering from hypothermia after being in the frigid waters for more than an hour and was taken to the Van Wert County Hospital and later transferred to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind., where she was listed in critical condition Thursday evening.In Ottawa on Thursday, Tony Imm of Huggins Auto Parts was starting to clean up. “We can get into the store and do cleanup,” Imm said. “It looks like we've had about 2 feet of water in the building.Loehrke said state Route 65 was opened around 10 a.m. Thursday and U.S. Route 224 could be opened by this morning.Crews were cleaning out catch basins Thursday and salting roads to prevent icing, he said.Having been through several floods at the building since 1981, Imm has preparation down, but success rests with the volunteers.“We've been fortunate with how many people have been willing to come and help us and we've got systems in place to minimize the loss,” he said.He said his crew started preparing at 10:30 a.m. Monday and didn't stop until water started coming into the building at 5:29 a.m. Tuesday.He had some losses, he said but not as bad as it could have been. An expensive diagnostic monitor was overlooked before the flood and left in the water.Imm is keeping a nervous eye on weather forecasts, and hoping the latest flood spurs faster efforts to remedy the flooding problem.“This is a situation that we are all working to resolve, but slower than I would like,” he said.

  1. Many rainy returns: Forecast calls for repeat precipitation

  2. Many rainy returns: Forecast calls for repeat precipitation

  3. Many rainy returns: Forecast calls for repe
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