Excessive heavy rain to result in river flood threat, sandbags available

Weather

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Additional rounds of heavy rain will result in a rapid rise of local rivers this weekend.

Forecasts from the National Weather Service show that area rivers are expected to reach minor or moderate flood stage in the coming days. The Maumee river in downtown Fort Wayne is forecast to reach moderate flood stage.

Just to the west of the Maumee river is the St. Marys river, and located on its banks is Promenade Park. The park was built with flood protection for the city in mind, and is designed to hold extra water should rivers rise to high levels. The current extended stretch of heavy rain is the first major flood test for the park since it opened in August of 2019.

“Essentially the areas that we intended to be underwater are going to be underwater, so that is mostly the concrete dock on both sides of the south and north bank. Those docks are going to be underwater, and then it’s going to creep up on the south side up into this plaza a little bit, depending on how much rain we get exactly. Again, we learned a long time ago to not to try to fight the river, but to try to work with it. So we designed this park to accept these flood waters,” said Alec Johnson, Deputy Director of Planning and Development for Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation.

Johnson also said that since the ground is not frozen, he expects the park to absorb the water into the landscape fairly well, just as it would during the summer. The three rivers are forecast to crest late Sunday into Monday.

Residents in Fort Wayne who live in flood prone areas and are concerned about the potential for flooding to occur can obtain sandbags for free. Sand is available in the parking lot of the ASH Centre on Freeman Street, as well as at the Southwest Conservation Club located on Bluffton Road. Bags are available, but residents will need to bring a shovel to fill their own sandbags.

Allen County has sandbags ready at two Highway Department locations on Carroll Road and Tillman Road.

The city has five pumps in place at locations around the area that are prone to flooding.

Click here to learn more about the flood protection that was built into Promenade Park.

Click here for the latest Live Doppler 15 Fury forecast.

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