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Hancock County Flood Risk Reduction Program

Hancock County has been dealing with an increasing frequency of flooding events since the 1990's. In 2016, the Hancock County Commissioners and the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) signed a memorandum of agreement authorizing the MWCD to identify opportunities for flood risk reduction.

More information about the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District can be found on their website at: https://maumeewatershed.com/. All MWCD meetings are open to the public and advanced notice is published in the Defiance Crescent News.

The Upper Blanchard River Watershed encompasses approximately 350 squares miles or 224,000 acres of land. The Blanchard River Watershed is a sub-watershed of the Maumee River Watershed. (Watershed Maps are easily accessible through the Blanchard River Watershed Partnership at http://www.blanchardriver.org/maps/)

The Blanchard River, which is approximately 103 miles long, begins near the outskirts of Kenton, Ohio and flows generally north for its first 25 miles. It then turns sharply west just North of the Findlay Reservoir at Riverbend Park and heads West through Findlay and Ottawa until it joins the Auglaize River in Western Putnam County.

For consistency throughout the flood risk reduction program, flood stages and reduction quantities are measured at Main Street in Findlay. The Blanchard River base flow level is typically between 1 and 2 feet. The National Weather Service flood stages were revised in early 2021 and reflect the benefits provided by the Phase I Hydraulic Improvements Project and property acquisitions and demolitions.

Flood Stages at USGS Gage at Findlay (Gage #04189000)

Flood Category20202021 Update
Action8.0 ft9.0 ft
Minor11.0 ft12.0 ft
Moderate12.0 ft13.5 ft
Major13.5 ft14.5 ft

Information on Historic Crests of the Blanchard River at Findlay can be found here:

Historic Crests

(1) 18.50 ft on 03/25/1913

(2) 18.46 ft on 08/22/2007

(3) 17.43 ft on 06/14/1981

(4) 16.76 ft on 02/11/1959

(5) 16.53 ft on 07/14/2017

(6) 16.50 ft on 02/07/2008

(7) 16.42 ft on 03/01/2011

(8) 16.10 ft on 01/22/1959

(9) 15.58 ft on 12/22/2013

(10) 15.42 ft on 06/02/1997

Reducing Flood Risk in Hancock County

There are four projects currently being overseen by the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District as part of flood mitigation in Hancock County. They are:

  1. Hydraulic Improvements Phase I - Floodplain benching near Swale Park, removal of four low head dams downstream of Lye Creek on the Blanchard river, and instream riffle construction at the low head dam sites.
  2. Additional Hydraulic Improvements - Floodplain benching and construction of two instream riffle structures east and west of Main Street.
  3. Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge Improvements - Reconstruction and expansion of the existing bridge west of Cory Street and floodplain benching.
  4. Eagle Creek Basin - Construction of a dry storage basin just outside of Findlay along Eagle Creek and US Route 68. Additional flood mitigation efforts by the Hancock County Commissioners and the City of Findlay include the acquisition and demolition of 167 flood prone properties since 2007 and transportation improvements to MLK Parkway and US 224. The Blanchard River Watershed Partnership is also working on a number of water quality improvement projects including sediment removal near the dam located at Riverside Park.