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Weekend of rain causes flooding concerns in city, county

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ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA21) - 21Country saw about 2 to 3 inches of rainfall this weekend prompting numerous flood warnings along area rivers.

Despite that fact, most of our area rivers saw minor flooding.

The initial forecast called for the rivers to be about 2 feet higher.

"But that's what you do: plan for the worst, hope for the best," Allen County Homeland Security Director Bernie Beier said.

"In this case, it was about half of what we predicted, so it put us in a position to stay on top of it early on and throughout the event."

Allen County Homeland Security Officials said investments in area infrastructure has reduced the impact of flooding.

"The old problem areas over the last 10 to 15 years, especially in the City of Fort Wayne, aren't problem areas anymore because of the investments in mitigation," Bier said

"We really saw that this weekend...the amount of resources that had to go out is a fraction of what he had to do 10 years ago."

In downtown Fort Wayne, low-lying areas near the river are often impacted first.

City officials hope the installation of an underground tunnel project that's slated to be done in 2023 will help greatly reduce flooding by giving that excess water somewhere to go.

"We're a system with three rivers. And once the rivers go up high, there's nowhere for that water to run to. There's nothing you can about it. You can't re-engineer the river. You just have to deal with it," Beier said.

"MaMaJo is exactly how you reengineer the river. And once it's completed, I'm not sure what mother nature could throw at us that we can't handle."

MaMaJo is the City of Fort Wayne's boring machine that's currently at work miles underneath Fort Wayne (The name "MaMaJo" comes from the first two letters of Fort Wayne’s three rivers. The Ma from Marys, Ma from Maumee and Jo from Joseph).

The tunnel will be operational and connected to the many neighboring sewers by 2023.

Typical low spots like Parrot Road between Hartzell and Madge saw some widespread flooding.

Some of those country roads did take on water near fields that had flooded, which officials said is to be expected.

In Allen County, Parrot Road between Hartzell Road and Madge Avenue is closed because of high water.

Amber Road between Branning Road and Redding Drive is also closed.

READ MORE: City, County offering sand & sandbags ahead of potential flooding

Residents in the county can visit the Highway Department’s two maintenance facilities for sand and bags: the north facility at 2234 Carroll Road and the south facility at 8317 East Tillman Road.

Sandbags are available on a first-come basis. 

Organizers recommend you bring your own shovel.

Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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