AP NEWS

Drier days in forecast for weekend

May 3, 2019

Fort Wayne residents are in for a drier weekend after nearly a week straight of rainy weather, making it through a week of heavy rain relatively unscathed, city officials said.  

The city was expected to get one-half to three-quarters of an inch Thursday and early today, said Geoffrey Heidelberger, a National Weather Service meteorologist. Saturday and Sunday look to be drier, with scattered chances of rain early in the weekend. 

“A system is going to move to the south,” Heidelberger said, noting that meteorologists are not sure how far north the rain will go. “We think it will barely clip Fort Wayne on Saturday.” 

That means residents will be able to enjoy a relatively dry day Saturday and no rain at all is projected for Sunday, Heidelberger said.

City officials have been monitoring flood conditions for over a week, said Patrick Zaharako, city engineer. River levels within the city limits crested more than a day ago and have since dropped 2 feet. Some of the city’s parks have flooded, Zaharako said, adding that one of the parks’ primary purposes is to flood during heavy rain events. 

“Nothing of any significant flooding in the city really occurred,” Zaharako said. “We were able to keep all our city roads open.” 

Over the past week, Fort Wayne saw rainfall amounts between 2.5 and 3.5 inches. Zaharako said he thinks the city came through the latest round of heavy rain and flooding relatively unscathed. 

“I think that’s a result of the luck of the weather and how the rain fell over a long period of time,” he said. “Plus, all the projects we’ve done and the millions of dollars spent to protect critical areas with levees and walls and such. We’ve also bought out a lot of the most flood-prone homes.”

To monitor conditions in Fort Wayne’s most flood-prone areas, city crews use riverwatch.cityoffortwayne.org to monitor river and rain gauges and use data from the National Weather Service to track hydraulic predictions for the rivers, Zaharako said. 

Although all city streets remained open during last week’s rain, several county roads remained closed Thursday afternoon. Those roads were: 

• Griffin Road between Auburn Road and Hollopeter Road;

• South River Road between Prize Street and Waverly Drive;

• Portola Avenue between Prize Street and South River Road;

• Beverly Drive between Prize Street and Portola Avenue;

• Parrott Road between Hartzell and Maplecrest roads;

• Grismer Road between U.S. 33 and Felger Road.

dgong@jg.net