OTTAWA -- The floodwaters in Ottawa have gone down enough to allow all the roads to reopen. A week after heavy rains brought devastating floods, things are starting to get cleaned up.
A slow-moving storm on the 21st of August dumped as much as 9 inches of rain on the southern part of the News 11 viewing area. The Blanchard River flooded in Findlay, then that flood rolled downstream to Ottawa, leaving both cities under water.
In Ottawa, the water has gone down, and all roads are passable. A "boil water" advisory is still in effect, and bottled water is available at shelters.
People trying to get rid of flood debris can take it to two drop-off centers being offered by the Putnam County Office of Public Safety. One bin is on US 224 across from the Ottawa Vet Clinic. The other is at the county transfer station. Do not bring appliances or hazardous waste.
Governor Ted Strickland visited Ottawa on Sunday, watching residents remove piles of waterlogged carpet and debris from their homes. He called the destruction "absolutely devastating" and said it's difficult to exaggerate or embellish upon what happened. "I've talked to some individuals who sometimes have cried on my shoulder," said Strickland. "Often times they express to me it will be difficult to start all over."
Strickland said he's doing everything possible to get state and federal aid for flood victims. "I think everything we can possibly do is being done. FEMA's representative from Atlanta has been with me for the past couple of days," said Strickland. "We hope by mid-week certainly no later than Friday that people will start receiving financial assistance."
The governor did see some great things from the people of Ottawa. "The folks in Ottawa as in the other towns affected are pulling together, doing all they can to be helpful to each other," said Strickland.
Governor Strickland says he anticipates a presidential disaster declaration will come today, making federal aid available to victims of last week's floods in northern Ohio. Money also would be freed up for local flood prevention efforts.
Count on News 11 to follow this story as it develops.