There is a massive storm system taking aim at a large portion of the Midwest and rain-weary residents in the northern portion of Ohio are fearing the worst. Earlier this week several counties in northeast Ohio suffered flood damage. In Findlay, which is 45 miles south of Toledo, the Blanchard River overflowed its banks earlier in the week putting much of the city under water. Many residents were forced to evacuate and some returned to their homes in canoes and boats this week to retrieve personal items.
The major storm that is headed to the area could bring three or more inches of rain with it, which could turn to snow and ice by the end of the weekend. Those residents whose homes have already suffered flood damage are being warned to check their well water before starting to use the water again. Health officials recommend that bottled water be used for cooking, drinking and brushing teeth. Flood water poses serious health risks such as exposure to diseases, drowning and many dangers associated with cleaning up flood water damaged homes and property.
Residents in the path of the storm can remove mud and leaves from storm drains or inlets in front of their homes and along curbs to prevent drains from becoming clogged. All contaminated items removed from flooded homes should be properly disposed of and the contaminated areas should be cleaned with diluted bleach water. It is important to wear protective clothing such as rubber gloves and boots when cleaning up after flood damage.
Spring flooding is always a concern at this time of year in the Midwest as rapid snow melt and heavy rain can cause flooding. The National Weather Services says that areas from southern Minnesota through the Ohio River and New England face the greatest risk for flooding this spring. While the flooding will be welcome news to Ohio water restoration companies, homeowners are not likely to welcome the significiant potential for heavy rains this year.
The storm heading into the Ohio Valley region could bring with it thunderstorms, tornadoes and hail. The rain could change to ice later in the weekend due to falling temperatures. Many residents in portions of Ohio have just begun to return to their flooded homes this week and now face having more water rushing in. Many communities in the area are setting up free sandbag pickup sites in their communities and are encouraging residents to keep an eye on the weather reports and to heed evacuation warnings coming from local officials.