Hancock County, one of the communities within the district’s boundaries, has long dealt with frequent flooding events. The Blanchard River has reached major flood stage nine times since 1990; flooding events in 1913 and 2007 are considered the largest floods on record. The Blanchard River Watershed at Findlay encompasses approximately 350 square miles, with Eagle Creek and Lye Creek identified as its largest tributaries.
Hancock County and the City of Findlay worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for approximately 10 years following the 2007 event to study the problem and develop a plan to reduce the risk of flooding along the Blanchard River and its tributaries. The Corps’ final recommended plan, the Western Diversion of Eagle Creek, was deemed not likely to be eligible to receive federal funding and, in the summer of 2016, the Hancock County Commissioners took control of the project.
In July 2016, the Ohio offices of the engineering firm Stantec Consulting Services Inc. (Stantec) began their review of the Corps’ study. Stantec’s charge was to review the Corps’ plan, look for ways to improve it, and ultimately recommend a flood-risk reduction program that more appropriately met the needs of the community.
In September 2016, MWCD agreed to support Hancock County and the City of Findlay in the review of flood-risk reduction efforts. The MWCD is now considering the Western Diversion of Eagle Creek, as well as other alternative flood-risk reduction projects and will soon determine if the district will add one of the proposed programs to its official plan.