OTTAWA — Flooding on the Blanchard River shut down more roadways this morning, including a section of U.S. 224, as Putnam County braced for a Saturday morning cresting of the river that would put it just above the moderate flood stage.
The National Weather Service issued flood warnings in affect for the Auglaize River near Fort Jennings and the Blanchard River in Ottawa after recent heavy rainfall. Drivers are reminded to never drive through flooded areas, as the water may be too deep for safe passage. Also, children shouldn’t play in or near flooded waters.
The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office noted at 7:30 a.m. that U.S. 224 closed west of state Route 65.
At 6:30 a.m. today, the Blanchard River was at 25.6 feet in Ottawa, above the minor floor stage of 23 feet.
The river is expected to hit the moderate flood stage of 27 feet by 8 p.m., according to the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service. An expected crest of 27.8 feet could hit by 2 p.m. Saturday. That would be the highest crest since Dec. 23, 2013, when the river hit 28.85 feet.
At 27 feet, the flooding worses on the south side of Ottawa, spilling over onto several roads and affecting other areas of the village. The river isn’t expected to fall out of its minor flood stage until Monday morning.
In Fort Jennings, the Auglaize River is continuing to recede. It was at 11.49 feet at 7:15 a.m. after reaching 16.33 feet on Wednesday. It should fall below the action stage of 11 feet by 2 p.m. today.
The Ottawa River near Kalida has already dropped below its action stage, reading 15.36 feet at 6:30 a.m. today. It reached a high of 18.7 feet, just short of the minor flood stage, on Wednesday.