Findlay ready for potential flooding with donated sandbags

Published: Sep. 7, 2018 at 5:34 PM EDT
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Every time we cover the flooded Blanchard, we always see rows of sandbags holding back the water.

Findlay is no stranger to floodwater. When the floods come, there's one thing the Flag City needs: sand. So we came to the source.

"We've been known to come in at two o clock in the morning and fill up trucks if they get low or run out," Tim Federici said. He's a director of sales with National Lime & Stone.

Just a ten minute drive outside of downtown, you'll find all the sand a flood prone city could hope for.

"Some potentially significant flash flooding," is how Findlay's safety director framed it. That's Paul Schmelzer.

And this manufactured sand is all donated.

"Take a lot of pride in our community and Findlay is our hometown," Federici said.

That's the hometown of National Lime & Stone. In some flooding events, Tim Federici estimates they might give Findlay nearly 150 tons of sand.

"Best case scenario: two to three inches of rain... could cause some flash flooding," Schmelzer said.

Schmelzer is the Findlay safety director. His team has also been planning for the worst case.

"Some of the areas are projecting between four and six inches of rain," Schmelzer said.

Just in case, Findlay sets up a volunteer call center ahead of major rains. But work on the flood-relieving river bench will not start until next week.

"It's one small thing we do," Federeci said. "We're willing to help."

"If people need supplemental supplies, they can stop by and grab a few sandbags themselves," Schmelzer said.

The heaviest rain locally should be in places like Norwalk, Upper Sandusky, and Tiffin. And while the rain hasn't started yet, Seneca County and Hancock emergency managers are ready. They're not taking any action until after the rain starts.

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