LIMA — With nearly 4 inches of rain expected to fall between Friday night and Saturday, there’s a concern about moderate flooding at some points in the region.
The National Weather Service in Northern Indiana issued an area flood watch through 7 p.m. Saturday. A forecast issued at 1:20 p.m. Thursday estimated 4.28 inches of rain could fall in Van Wert, while Ottawa could receive 3.96 inches, and Lima could get 3.87 inches. The National Weather Service in Wilmington issued a flood watch that included Auglaize County through late Saturday night, with rainfall of 1 to 3 inches expected.
The good news is it likely won’t arrive as snow. Temperatures are forecast with highs in the upper 50s Friday and Saturday before cooling down to a more seasonable high of 38 by Sunday, according to Accuweather.com’s forecast.
The Bluffton Police Department issued a warning to residents on Thursday afternoon about the possibility of flooding, urging residents to monitor the forecast for possible flooding.
The Blanchard River in Fort Jennings is expected to fall just short of moderate flood conditions, with its crest of 15.9 feet at 1 a.m. Monday falling short of the 16-foot mark of a moderate flooding event. It will top the action stage of 11 feet and the minor flood stage of 13 feet early Sunday.
Similarly, the Ottawa River in Kalida is expected to crest at 19.3 feet around 1 p.m. Sunday, above the minor flood stage of 19 feet. It will top the action stage of 16 feet by 7 p.m. Saturday.
That created a flood warning for the Blanchard River in Ottawa. It’s forecast to crest at 24.6 feet at 1 p.m. Monday. It’s anticipated to hit the action flood stage of 20 feet around 1 a.m. Sunday and top the minor flood stage of 23 feet by 7 p.m. Sunday. At 23 feet, lowland flooding occurs, mainly in south Ottawa and in low farmlands.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency Region V urged people to get ready ahead of time, especially since winter flooding often comes with dangerously cold water temperatures. Tips are available online at www.ready.gov/floods.
“Flooding can happen anytime, even in winter months,” FEMA Region V Administrator James K. Joseph stated in a press release. “Make sure your family knows how to stay safe before extreme weather occurs. Don’t attempt to walk or drive through flowing water, and verify your mobile phone is enabled to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts to warn you of dangerous conditions and other emergencies in your area.”