Ottawa businesses inaccessible after flood - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Ottawa businesses inaccessible after flood

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OTTAWA, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Several communities in the area are still dealing with flooding after the weekend's heavy rainfall.

People in Ottawa are no strangers to flooding, but the extreme cold temperatures are making this flood a little harder to deal with. The cold temperatures make the dense ground harder for water to drain, and water is only receding about an inch per hour.

Putnam County Commissioner John Love is one of many affected by the flood. He owns Love Funeral Home, the basement of which is completely flooded. He has been forced to push back some funeral times.

"As of yesterday, all of the downtown businesses were in an area that was kind of like an island," Love said. "Nobody in the area could get to them."

Homes in the area have also been affected.

"They are witnessing some flooding in their basements, and of course there is no way to get anything out at this point. You just got to do it yourself, there is no help out there yet," Love said. "I know our fire department always stands in the ready, but again, they have other things like rescue work to do and actually evacuating people."

According to Putnam County EMA Director Steve Odenweller, this is the sixth worst flood for the area. Water has been freezing along the roads, adding to the cleanup process.

"With the amount of water we had, we are going to have to chip some of these areas out along the roads," he said. "And we have to get that cleared off so we can get traffic through and get them salted, but that is just extra work that takes a little longer. The water may be gone, but the ice is there."

Odenweller says it may be best for last-minute holiday shoppers to just stay home.

"I don't want to discourage anybody from doing their shopping, but it's really tough to get to downtown Ottawa right now, and just passing through Ottawa," he said. "The best thing to do is if you are not stopping through Ottawa is to bypass it altogether."

County officials say they don't know for sure when all the roads will be open.

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