Portions of Blanchard flood plan move forward, others appear to be dropped

Portions of Blanchard flood plan move forward, others appear to be drop

One of the more controversial portions of the proposed Blanchard River flood mitigation plan was large storage basins being built on current farm properties.

In July, the Stantec engineering firm, filed their final proof of concept of how the old Army Corps of Engineers' flood mitigation plan could work.

After a few months of going over the data, The Maumee Watershed Conservancy District announced that they were no longer moving forward with the

portion of the plan that would have established large overflow basins Southwest of Findlay in Blanchard River and Potato Run.

Tim Mayle, with the group Blanchard River Watershed Solutions says the cost benefit threshold of building those basins just didn't seem viable.

"There's also different considerations for housing, how many homes will we have to take in each one. For example, in Potato Run, when you actually do the storage basin, you'll have to close off some roads. So there's safety concerns," said Mayle.

However, Mayle said that storage of overflow flood waters is not out of the question as plans continue for phase two of the control plan.

He said that most overflow plans mitigate the water using gravity and natural flow, but perhaps the solution is vertical storage with pumps, or digging deeper.

"Minimize the effect of how much land we need to take, the invasivness, does it work every time; going through all those different pieces. So, the smaller we can make them and engineer them, the better," said Mayle.

Phase one of the Blanchard River Flood Mitigation plan, the benching of the riverbank, has been awarded to a contractor significantly under the proposed budget.

Tim Mayle said that those savings could be used to study what option could ultimately be phase two of the plan.

Yesterday, the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District awarded the contract for building a series of concrete benches along the north bank of the river.

Work will begin this fall by Findlay based Helms Construction.

The project came in at $6.1 million, nearly $4 million less than projected, and once complete will lower the height of flooding by a foot through downtown Findlay.

"A couple of inches makes a huge difference. If you look back to 2007, and if we were back a foot off of that and it d ropped down to 17.3 feet, then we're not going quite down to Marathon for example. And if you go back to last July, when we had that storm and take a foot off of that, it's significant," said Tim Mayle.

The construction of the river bank benches is expected to be complete by September of next year.

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