Last updated: August 25. 2013 3:59AM - 100 Views

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OTTAWA — It is possible some local projects to mitigate flooding could be finished before the final approval of the federal government if funding were available.This was the update given during Wednesday’s Blanchard River Flood Mitigation Coalition meeting in Ottawa.Steering committee member Gene Hovest reported on a meeting with officials in Washington, D.C., and also a recent meeting in Findlay with Col. Margaret Burcham, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Ohio River Division.Hovest said officials in Washington and Burcham both said work could be completed and would be counted toward the local share of funding if the work was included in the final approved plan.“Before, we were always told we could do nothing until the final plans and funding were in place,” Hovest said. “Now we have a view of the evolution in the project that maybe we could do some of the low-hanging fruit projects.”The mental health side of the flood was discussed as part of the cost to be considered surrounding the ongoing flooding. Terri Samuelson reminded members the community was coming up on the five-year benchmark, which often is a critical point in mental health issues.Steve Odenweller questioned if the coalition would like a representative from the National Weather Service to attend a meeting to update officials on how river protections are derived. The coalition felt this would be a good idea.You can comment on this story at www.LimaOhio.com.

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