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National Weather Service Updates Flood Stages at Select Official River Forecast Points

Contacts: Sarah Jamison, Senior Service Hydrologist

December 21, 2011

The National Weather Service office in Cleveland Ohio (WFO CLE), County Emergency Management, and Local Officials have coordinated upon updating the flood stages for the following river gage sites:

Blanchard River at Findlay (FDY01) flood stage: 11 ft
  moderate flood stage: 12 ft
  updated major flood stage: 13.5 ft
Scioto River at La Rue (LAR01) flood stage: 11 ft
  updated moderate flood stage: 13.0 ft
  updated major flood stage: 14.0 ft
Scioto River at Prospect (PRG01) flood stage: 9 ft
  updated moderate flood stage: 13.5 ft
  updated major flood stage: 15.0 ft
Cuyahoga River at Old Portage (OLP01) updated flood stage: 10.5 ft
  updated moderate flood stage: 13.0 ft
  updated major flood stage: 18.0 ft

Effective January, 3 2012, all new flood stages will take effect unless flooding is expected or ongoing.

At Old Portage, the flood stage will be raised from 9 feet to 10.5 feet. At this gage height, the rise in water surface level begins to impact property at the Akron Water Pollution Control Division Plant. At 13.0 feet impacts begin to increase in severity at the treatment plant; at the same time a few low lying businesses become inundated. This stage signifies the increase in severity from minor to moderate flooding. Major flooding denotes the stage at which extensive flooding occurs typically resulting in evacuations and or significant property loss. Given the steep banks of the Cuyahoga River near Old Portage, it would take a stage of around 18.0 feet before this type of non-localized damage would occur from the river.

On the Scioto River in Marion County both official forecast points of La Rue and Prospect have undergone changes in the watershed, necessitating changes in the flood stages. At La Rue, a bridge was added upstream of town and the river gage was moved to a new location. At Prospect the addition of a new bridge downtown resulted in a wider stream channel, allowing more water to flow through the town. As a result of these changes the new flood stages for La Rue are 13.0 feet for moderate, and 14.0 feet for major. For Prospect the new moderate flood stage is 13.5 feet and major flood stage is 15.0 feet. Minor flood stages will remain the same.

At the Blanchard River in Findlay the minor and moderate flood stages will remain the same. At the current major flood stage of 13.0 feet there is no significant increase in impacts or severity from moderate flood stage, though the flood waters are becoming more widespread. By 13.5 feet conditions become more critical as the Martin Luther King Parkway overpass becomes cut off by flood waters. At this point major thru ways in the town are cut off and homes and businesses become threatened by flood waters. Therefore the major flood stage at Findlay will be raised from 13.0 feet to 13.5 feet.

The river stage forecasts help us meet the National Weather Service mission of protecting life and property for the citizens in northern Ohio. The Cleveland forecast office and supporting Ohio River Forecast Center in Wilmington Ohio provides all river flood warning services for above mentioned sites.

The National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. It operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy.

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All River Forecast points can be found at the AHPS web site.

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Page last modified: 15 APR, 2012

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