Blanchard River Flood Control Plans Unveiled

Five of the worst ten flooding events in the Blanchard River's recorded history have occurred in the past decade.

But now, there's new hope for towns along the river, as the Army Corps of Engineers unveil their flood-risk damage reductions plans.

The first of four meetings by the corps was held on Monday night at Ottawa-Glandorf High School. The auditorium was packed with residents eager to hear the studies and statistics.

"The blanchard river kind of affects everything we do around here," said resident Brian Miller.

The Army Corps of Engineers have been conducting studies since the devastating August 2007 flood.

Project manager, Mike Pniewski, told us the Blanchard River Watershed has seen significant flooding in the past few years due to more rainfall at higher intensities and frequencies.

The corps presented four plans within Ottawa and four plans within Findlay, including modifications of the I-9 Bridge, and modification of the Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge.

The eight plans could include relocating residents and flood proofing homes. Costs range from $1M-$140M.

"Now that we've come up with these plans, it's important now people see what these plans are and they can judge how those plans will impact their communities," said Pniewski.

At this time, the plans are considered tentative. They still have to undergo environmental reviews, and will be narrowed down to one final plan based on feasibility and costs.

A final plan could be ready in 2015 for presentation to Congress, which has the authority to allocate up to 65 percent of construction funding.

If approved, construction could begin as early as 2017.