LIMA - Heavy rainfall nearing 3 inches in the past 24 hours could cause localized flooding today and river levels hitting flood stages today and Friday.
The overnight rain should lighten somewhat this morning, but additional rain and a few thunderstorms could hit by late morning into the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service, bringing another three-quarters of an inch to 1 inch of rain.
That increases the chance of flooding in low areas, creeks, streams and rivers. A flood watch is in effect through late tonight, according to the National Weather Service of Northern Indiana.
The Blanchard River in Ottawa will once again rise above its banks in Findlay and Ottawa, cresting in Findlay tonight and Ottawa on Saturday.
The Blanchard in Ottawa was at 12.54 feet and rising as of 4:30 a.m., according to the National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service. It will rise above the action stage of 20 feet around 8 p.m. today. It will then top the minor flood stage of 23 feet by 8 a.m. Friday, where lowland flooding begins in the southern portion of Ottawa. The Blanchard is expected to crest at 24.6 feet at 8 a.m. Saturday.
The Auglaize River in Fort Jennings should hit flood level stages later today, according to the National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service. It was at 6.6 feet at 3 a.m. today, but it will hit the action level stage of 11 feet around 2 p.m. today and move into minor flood stage of 13 feet around 8 p.m. today. It's expected to crest at 14.6 feet around 2 p.m. Friday, short of the moderate flood level of 16 feet.
People living in flood-prone areas should be prepared to take any necessary actions. Drivers are reminded to never drive through flood waters, as they're often deeper than they appear.