Last updated: April 03. 2014 10:23PM - 4531 Views
By - lmihm@civitasmedia.com

An SUV maneuvers through floodwaters from state Route 309 and East Road in American Township on Thursday.
An SUV maneuvers through floodwaters from state Route 309 and East Road in American Township on Thursday.
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LIMA — Heavy rain throughout the morning led to flash flooding in some areas.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for small streams in Allen and Putnam counties and eastern Van Wert County. Heavy rain created significant runoff and localized flooding.

Putnam County Emergency Management Agency director Steve Odenweller said flooding so far had been contained to the usual low spots throughout the county, mostly from runoff from fields.

“It is the usual spots, and there has been no road closings yet,” Odenweller said.

Odenweller said the agency is planning to keep an eye out for flash floods in the Columbus Grove area, which has had problems in the past.

There were also reports of scattered power outages due to the weather and weather-related accidents Thursday. In Allen County, there were 3,400 AEP Ohio customers without electricity, or 7.5 percent of its customers, according to the company. According to weather map at AEP’s website, power had been restored to customers in the area with the exception of 143 customers in southeastern Paulding County.

The Auglaize County Engineer’s Office had four trucks throughout the county posting high water signs but had reported no road closings as of the end of business hours Thursday. The office reported the most significant flooding in the northwest and northeast portions of the county.

The office anticipated possibly having to close roads later.

Allen County EMA Director Russ Decker said flooding had been sporadic and reserved to the “usual low spots where flooding has been a problem.” He said there had been no unusual problems other than high water.

The traffic signals on Cable Road in Lima were out Thursday, however. The Lima Police Department reminded residents to treat intersections with broken signals as a four-way stop if the lights aren’t working.

The Shawnee Township Police Department said the high waters caused an accident in the late afternoon Thursday after a female driver hydroplaned and slid off the road into about a foot of water. Details of the incident were not available as a report had not yet been filed, but no one was injured in the incident.

The Lima Police Department reported wet roadways, causing only one minor accident on McDonel Street with no injuries.

The possibility of more rain throughout the night has resulted in a flood warning being issued for most of the region into Friday.

Allen, Putnam and Van Wert counties were under a flood warning until 3:30 a.m. Friday. The National Weather Service anticipated as much as an additional one to two inches of rain until the early morning hours, further exacerbating potential flooding problems.

Auglaize County was under a flood watch into Friday morning with one and a half to three inches of rain possible.

Authorities warned residents not to drive vehicles into areas where water covers the roadway. It’s difficult to tell how deep the water is, and the vehicle could be pushed by the moving water. Instead of risking it, turn around and find another route. Most flooding deaths occur in automobiles.

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