Flooding in Ottawa affects businesses, homes

A tractor-trailer was stranded by floodwaters in Ottawa, Putnam County on Saturday as Blanchard River flooding overtook the village. (Photo by Eileen McClory / The Courier)

By EILEEN MCCLORY
STAFF WRITER

OTTAWA — When Findlay floodwaters receded, Ottawa residents knew they needed to start preparing. The Blanchard River flows from Findlay west into Putnam County, where part of downtown Ottawa sits near the river.

“We live in a bowl,” Ottawa Mayor Dean Meyer said Saturday. “I hate to see flooding happen every time.”

The Blanchard River in Ottawa rose to 27.52 feet around noon Saturday, according to the National Weather Service, which is considered moderate flooding there. Minor flooding occurs in Ottawa at 23 feet.

Meyer said the flooding affected homes and businesses in Ottawa. A Main Street auto store, Higgin’s Auto Parts, flooded and employees had to take all their equipment out of the shop.

Meyer said some homes had been flooded and people displaced, though he didn’t know where they had gone.

As of Saturday, he said the main plan for cleanup in Ottawa was to collect debris from the flood that residents and businesses leave on the side of the road.

Officer Tammy Blank of the Ottawa Police Department said as far as she knew, the Blanchard River had crested Saturday in Ottawa.

“Findlay went down pretty quickly so we’re hoping for the same,” she said.

She said she had not needed to do any rescues, though a tractor-trailer had gotten stuck in the water on Main Street.

The village is working with the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District to create a diversion channel for floodwater near the village. Meyer said he looks forward to the completion of that project, because it will mean flooding will not be as bad in Ottawa.

“We are very fortunate that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been,” Meyer said of Saturday’s flooding.

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