Flood watch issued for county, area

Instead of a heavy snow storm, Auglaize County and the surrounding area will be receiving heavy rain from Mother Nature. Due to the heavy rainfall predicted in addition to the snowmelt, the National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for Auglaize County starting late tonight through Sunday morning. The snowmelt has elevated streams and the additional water will increase the flood threat. 

The NWS is predicting between 1.5 inches and 4 inches of rain to fall between tonight and Saturday night.

The heaviest rainfall will be throughout the day and evening Saturday.

Troy Anderson, director of Auglaize County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said while there is a potential for flooding, the condition of the local streams and rivers makes the likelihood of a major flood slim.

“The rivers are not completely frozen over, so we don’t have the big ice jams,” Anderson said. “That’s a benefit to us because if we had those ice jams, there would be a lot more work we would have to do.”

Anderson also mentioned the engineering office’s work on the Auglaize River has been helpful to help reduce flooding potential.

“I think we should come out pretty good unless we get the three or four inches they are talking about,” he said.

In some locations throughout the region, the NWS is predicting up to six inches of rain.

“That six inches isn’t in our county,” Anderson said. “But what I want to look at is those models because based on the drainage, it could bring more water into our county.”

As with all flood watches, spring, summer or winter, Anderson said some work in advance can save people a lot of time, money and damage later.

“If you’re in the flood-prone areas, just take some extra time and move some stuff up off the ground,” he said. “Prepare ahead of time by making some small sandbags with plastic bags, piece or board to keep water out of garages.“

"Just little things like that would help that way you’re not waiting until the middle of the night and find that you have flooding happening. At that point there’s not much we can do.”

As always, do not drive into flood waters. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling. A foot of water will float many vehicles, two feet of rushing dater can carry away most vehicles including SUVs and trucks.

For updated weather advisories and warnings you can log onto auglaizecounty.org/ema or follow the Auglaize County EMA on Facebook and Twitter.