The heavy rainfall that rolled through the area Monday — coupled with wet weather in previous days — has produced flooding along several rivers.
Flash flooding occurred in numerous locations Monday amidst heavy rainfall. While much of this quickly drained away, many ditches and creeks were subsequently filled Tuesday and now much of that has reached local rivers, causing them to rise substantially by Wednesday.
Therefore, the National Weather Service (NWS) issued flood warnings for local rivers.
The Maumee River level at Defiance measured 14.5 feet Wednesday morning and was “rising,” according to the the National Weather Service (NWS). Flood stage is 10 feet.
The high water has temporarily closed Independence Dam State Park, as well as access to Oxbow Lake in Defiance County.
The state had closed access to most of the park by Tuesday afternoon due to the flooded roadway, but the front parts adjacent to the dam were still accessible. However, by Tuesday evening, officials had closed the entire park, which remained the case Wednesday as well.
A little further west of the dam, high water reached or crossed County Road 424 and East River Drive in Defiance.
High water in Defiance’s Kingsbury Park blocked access to some areas Tuesday, as it flooded the usual areas there, including the swimming pool. The pool is not filled with clean water this spring as it will not open in 2020 due to coronavirus-related issues.
Although the pool deck was not flooded by Tuesday afternoon, river water had entered the pool. And by early Wednesday afternoon, the adult pool was completely flooded.
Many roads and locations were closed Tuesday and Wednesday throughout the area due to high water.
The Tiffin River at Stryker — a consistently vulnerable spot during periods of heavy rain — was well above flood stage (11 feet) late Wednesday morning at 16.8 feet.
The river was expected to crest at 17 feet Thursday morning, according to the NWS, one-half foot above what is considered “major” flooding “in and around” Stryker.
However, most of this flooding occurs in low-lying flood plain where there are few affected structures.
At 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, the NWS noted that the Auglaize River at Defiance was 19.97 feet, not far below flood stage of 21 feet.
The Blanchard River at Ottawa also was in flood stage by Wednesday afternoon. The level was 25.07 feet at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, while flood stage is 23 feet.
Minor flooding already was occurring by Tuesday morning along the St. Joseph River near the Indiana border and continued Wednesday.
Monday rainfall totals around northwest Ohio varied, with many locations receiving more than two inches on that day.
The highest amount reported Monday to the NWS was just east of Alvordton in Williams County at 3.25 inches, according to NWS meteorologist Nathan Marsili in the agency’s North Webster, Ind., office.
Defiance, Henry and Paulding counties all had locations Monday that recorded approximately 2.3 inches or more, he indicated.
The main axis of the heaviest rain was from the Defiance County Airport through the Stryker area and into northeast Williams County, according to Marsili.
The rain caused a lot of flash flooding, when water comes up quickly and recedes quickly during, and following, periods of downpours.
“We had water where we never had it before going across roadways — like Elliott Road, we had two feet across it,” said Defiance County Sheriff Doug Engel. “Standley Road — in places it had not flooded prior — had water across it.”
A stalled upper-level low pressure system was the cause of all the rain, according to Marsili.
More rain chances are forecast for the weekend, but “nothing like we’ve seen,” he said.
On the front page: A sign on Ohio 34, southeast of Stryker, warns of high water Tuesday morning. Heavy rains throughout the area on Monday caused flooding in numerous locations.