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05-09-03: Storm creates flooding in county
The Daily Standard
    Thunderstorms dumped up to four inches of rain in northern Mercer County early this morning, leaving many rural roads and highways in the area resembling shallow rivers.
    According to the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Wilmington, it's not over yet.
    State and county road crews were summoned before dawn this morning to place high water signs along roadways north of Celina in the Rockford and Mendon areas, where a flood warning was issued until 10 a.m. today. However, no roads were reported closed.
    "It came fast and furious," Mercer County 911 coordinator Monte Diegel said of the rainfall. "One caller (to Central Dispatch) reported water as high as 12 inches across one of the roads up north."
    Diegel said there were a couple of high-water related accidents last night and this morning < motorists forced off the roadways in flooded areas. No injuries were reported, he said.
    In Rockford, firefighters were called out early today to help area homeowners with flooded basements, Diegel said. No one at the police or fire department could be reached at deadline this morning.
    A spokeswoman for Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) of Mercer County said a large stretch of the berm on Ohio 707 near Dutton Road was washed away due to rushing water.
    ODOT officials also reported corn fodder was washed onto Ohio 117, north of Celina, causing hazardous driving for motorists. Highway crews were heading out this morning with trucks to remove the debris deposited there from nearby fields.
    The southern portion of Mercer County was spared the brunt of the rain apparently with less than two inches falling in those areas.
    Auglaize County officials reported flooding across County Road 25A, north of Wapakoneta, and Ohio 65, north of the Shelby County line, where motorists were urged to use caution.
    It looks as though it may be Mother's Day on Sunday before the local area is rid of severe and scattered thunderstorms, said Myron Padgett, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
    "You will get some more rain, I'm afraid," Padgett said.
    More showers and thunderstorms are predicted throughout the day today through Saturday evening, Padgett said.
    Padgett said more flooding in the northern Mercer County areas could occur, and residents there should stay tuned to local weather forecasts.
    "It is the season you know," he said.


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P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822