AP NEWS

Rainfall causes minor flooding in city

May 2, 2019

Fort Wayne residents are in for a drier weekend after nearly a week straight of rainy weather. 

The city was expected to get 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch today and early Friday, National Weather Service Meteorologist Geoffrey Heidelberger said. Saturday and Sunday look to be more dry, 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 on Saturday and no rain at all is projected for Sunday, Heidelberger said.

City officials have been monitoring flood conditions for over a week, City Engineer Patrick Zaharako said. River levels within the city limits crested more than a day ago and have since dropped two feet. Some of the city’s parks have flooded, as well, 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 uses 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: Grismer Road between U.S. 33 and Felger Road; Griffin Road between Auburn and Hollopeter roads; South River Road between Prize Street and Waverly Road; Portola Road between Prize Street and South River Road; Beverly Road between Prize Street and Portola Avenue; Parrott Road between Hartzell and Maplecrest roads. 

dgong@jg.net