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Determining a Safe Return After Flooding

Friday, August 24, 2007 at 7:23 AM

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As flood waters begin to recede, authorities will try to determine when its safe to let homeowners back into the worst affected areas to assess the damage. ideastream's Kymberli Hagelberg has more.

Ohio Department of Public Safety spokesman Tom Hunter says flooding is worst in Findlay, in Hancock County, where 500 were evacuated Wednesday.  In Ottowa, in Putnam County, the water rose overnight Wednesday.  And in Bucyrus, in Crawford county, initial damages for the tiny downtown town have reached more than $1 million.

Hunter says flood waters along the Blanchard River crested at 7 1/2 feet above an 11-foot flood stage.

Tom Hunter: They haven’t seen waters at this level like this since 1913. It’s a once of a generation flood for many that live in that area.

Ohio National Guard and State Patrol officers are assisting local authorities in keeping people out of the area. Even flood investigators are waiting to enter until concerns about downed wires and bacteria in the water can be resolved.

Governor Strickland has declared states of emergency in nine of the 21 counties that received 6 to 9 inches of rainfall that hit Ohio since Monday.

Kymberli Hagelberg, 90.3.

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