Henry County tracks potential spring floods - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Henry County tracks potential spring floods

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Here in Napoleon, in Henry County, planners and engineers have placed the city's golf course and public parks in flood-plains in an effort to keep the homes dry.  But across the river, it's not always the same case.

The debris filled waters of the Maumee started receding yesterday and already dropped about a foot along Maple Avenue.  The high water line remains on stained propane tanks and in the brittle ice stuck in the shrubs.  County engineers worry that the river will rise above that by spring.

"Right now one of our biggest concerns is that if we get a rain, a one inch rain or a rain like we had last week, and it would continue to stay warm, 50 degrees, 55, over a two, three day period, we're going to see much worse flooding than we did last time," Pat McColley said.

The frosted soil extends down deep into the soil around the Maumee.  Once warmth arrives, very little of the melt water will soak into ground.  That's likely to cause problematic runoff for farmers and drainage areas.

"We do design all of our structures for a 25 year flood… and sometimes up to a 100 year flood, it depends where it's at… and more water can basically go through that structure at that time.  So those are the areas that you're looking at that might bottleneck."

County engineer Pat McColley says the simplest fix to avoid your own bottleneck is cleaning out your catch basins.

"Because the people that do not do that or do not clean out the catch basins, they're often the ones with that water just sitting in their front lawn."

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