|As snow leaves, flooding expected|
|Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Saturday, 15 February 2014 08:33|
Local agencies are starting to warn area businesses and homeowners of possible flooding along county waterways in the face of warmer weather forecasted in the coming weeks.
"As a matter of fact, for about the last two weeks we started the planning process with the flooding potential," said Brad Gilbert, director of the Wood County Emergency Management Association.
"We've been working with both the village of Pemberville and the village of Grand Rapids just kind of reviewing resources, trying to get some information out to property owners, some helpful reminders."
Gilbert said the issues are stemming from the "unprecedented amount of snowfall this year, combine that with the unusual ice on the (Maumee) River and on Lake Erie," along with possible rainfall and predicted thawing temperatures.
"That's just a combination for flooding, unfortunately."
Local authorities have kept a watch on high water on local rivers throughout the early weeks of this year. An ice jam on the Portage River caused minor flooding in Pemberville in mid-January, and a similar jam on the Maumee River just west of Grand Rapids caused issues for properties in Henry County just days later.
"It's pretty much still choked in there," Gilbert said of the Maumee River jam. "There's water getting past it and it's coming over the dam at Grand Rapids."
"So, again, we're hoping the nice, slow and methodical thawing process will take hold and kind of break that up" and move it downstream.
Information is starting to get out to area residents.
Gilbert said that information sheets - containing tips on pre-planning for property and personal safety issues and checking with insurance providers regarding flood coverage - have been drafted and are being distributed door-to-door in Grand Rapids by the fire department to those typically impacted.
A similar information sheet has been put together for Pemberville, and a meeting is scheduled for Wednesday to determine the best mechanism to distribute that in the village.
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