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Last updated: Sat. Apr. 20, 2013 - 10:07 am EDT

Fort Wayne flood roundup: Waters retreat, but ice triggers I-69 crashes

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Problems with flooding turned to dangers from ice in Fort Wayne this morning as water froze in overnight low temperatures.

Bridges and roads along Interstate 69 became an accident-strewn mess around 8 a.m. today as drivers failed to slow down for the icy conditions, according to police scanner traffic.

Numerous accidents occurred within minutes, and Fort Wayne Police officers had problems checking on the condition of drivers involved because other vehicles weren't slowing down and made the situation dangerous, according to scanner traffic.

Several accidents occurred on Lima Road over I-69 and a truck crashed into the median on southbound I-69 near the Goshen Road exit, but the driver refused medical attention.

Water from Thursday's and Friday's flash flooding appeared to be retreating from some roads late Friday afternoon. The city had 14 pumps out this morning, said Frank Suarez, a spokesman for City Utilities, but he expected that number to drop later today. Drier weather has been predicted for the weekend, but standing water was dampening some plans for today's opening day at Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, which will keep some animals inside this weekend.

Watching the river

The Maumee River appeared to be falling this morning after cresting at 20.64 feet mid-Friday afternoon, more than 3 feet above the flood stage of 17 feet. The river had risen more than 10 feet in 20 hours. That level would be considered “moderate” flooding.

The Maumee in New Haven remained in the “moderate” stage at 18.4 feet early this morning after cresting at 21.14 feet Friday night.

The National Weather Service said some flooding was possible through this coming Friday with more storms possible Tuesday.

Sandbags available

The city has placed sand in the parking lot on the corner of Bradbury Avenue and Broadripple Drive for residents to use to protect their property. Empty bags are at the location along with the sand, but residents should bring their own shovel to fill the bags.

Also, according to Allen County spokesman Michael Green: Empty sandbags and sand are available at both the North Highway Barn (2234 Carroll Road) and South Highway Barn (8317 E. Tillman Road). Residents may pick up bags to fill until 2 p.m. today.

Soggy start at zoo

At the zoo, 3411 Sherman Blvd., wet weather will keep some animals inside this weekend. About 20 of the zoo's 200 animals – including owls, pelicans, zebras, alligators, capuchin monkeys and possibly the giraffes – won't be out, according to the zoo's website.

Roads closed

These city streets were closed as of 7:40 a.m. today. See the latest updates at news-sentinel.com throughout the weekend.

•Intersection of Dalevue Drive at Fernwood Avenue

•Catalpa Street between Jefferson Boulevard and Taylor Street

•North River Road between Landin Road and Maysville Road

•Sherman Boulevard between Superior and Fourth streets

•Filmore Street south of Taylor

•Taylor between Freeman and Portage Boulevard

•Intersection of Filmore Street at Geneva Avenue

Stay safe

The highway department reminds motorists that if they encounter a flooded road, be sure to “Turn Around, Don't Drown.” According to the National Weather Service, most flash flooding deaths are vehicle-related. Six inches of standing water is enough to cause passenger cars to stall and a foot of water will float many vehicles. Motorists should never drive through flooded roads, especially if the water is moving rapidly.

metro@news-sentinel.com


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