UPDATED: Blanchard River crests at Findlay, drops below 16 feet

The flooding Blanchard River has crested at Findlay, the National Weather Service says.

The rain-swollen river crested at 16.5 feet at noon Friday. By 11 p.m., the level at Findlay was 15.27 feet.

The weather service predicted “a gradual recession overnight” and said the river will fall below flood stage Sunday evening.

The river remains at major flood stage, which begins at 13.5 feet. Water is covering many Findlay streets, and the Findlay Fire Department has evacuated a number of people from their flooded homes, and rescued stranded motorists.

The National Weather Service had predicted the crest would be 16.8 feet. Steve Wilson, project manager for the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District, said if the flood level reached 17 feet, Blanchard River floodwater would inundate 120 homes and 80 commercial structures in Findlay.

Meanwhile, Eagle Creek and Lye Creek , which both flow into the Blanchard River at Findlay, both fell below flood stage Friday. Eagle Creek had crested at its major flood stage on Thursday, reaching 12.59 feet.

Downstream at Ottawa, the Blanchard River level continues to inch up, worrying residents there. It was 27 feet at 10:30 p.m. Friday, heading toward a predicted crest of 27.1 feet today, which is considered moderate flooding.

Minor flood stage at Ottawa starts at 23 feet, and moderate flood stage begins at 27 feet.

At 27 feet, flooding would affect downtown Ottawa and the south side of the village.

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