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Differences apparent between 2007 and 2011 flood; preliminary damage estimates at $145,400

Notice the high flood marks on Spring Street near the Buckeye.

NOTE: March 2 update: Rick Skilliter, Bluffton police chief, has place preliminary estimates for the Feb. 28 flooding at $145,400.


The clean-up phase of the Feb. 28 flood took center stage Tuesday. The village placed dumpsters on Cherry Street, Railroad Street and Riley Street as residents ripped up carpets and all sorts of ruined furniture and personal belongings, placing them in the dumpsters.

On Cherry Street, Linda Best said that the Village Cut 'n' Curl experienced two feet of water. In 2007 it had four feet, but as Best pointed out, it makes little difference how many inches flood your business - two feet or four, it's still a mess.

Russ Decker of the Allen County Emergency Management Agency was to have visited Bluffton Tuesday. It is highly unlikely that the village will qualify for flood some type of federal flood relief as the Feb. 28 flood was different from the August 2007 flood.

Bluffton was the county's major hit in 2007. This year several Allen County municipalities were affected. Plus, many of the rules have changed governing flood assistance. That's why the EMA hopes to collect countywide information to make its case for federal assistance.

The Feb. 28 flood had one other set of circumstances different from 2007. As a result of the 2007 flood the village purchased several flood-prone properties and razed them. In addition, the Allen County Health Department condemned the trailer park on Cherry Street, thus removing those structures from the flood plain.

Several structures on Vance Street, including at least two house trailers were also removed after the 2007 flood.

All that resulted in fewer structures in the immediate flood plain.

Riley Creek Mercantile hit the high ground after 2007. That business started over by rebuilding on a much higher level on its Cherry Street site. The result on Feb. 28 was that the floodwater simply covered a portion of the parking lot. It never touched the new building.

As Larry Cox of the Mercantile told The Icon, if this flood would have come as high as the (new) building, the entire village of Bluffton would have been in big trouble.

One other business relocated entirely after the 2007 flood. The Bluffton vet clinic moved from Vance Street to State Route 103. Icon viewers may recall photos from 2007 when several animals in the Vance Street location were rescued by boat.

The Celebration of Health medical building on Thurman Street was also better prepared as it constructed its own dike following the 2007 flood.

In the flood's aftermath, as residents drive through the flooded areas, the will notice lots of fence damage in the Harmon Field area and equipment damage at the Buckeye park area.

It is likely that as the weather turns warmer the village, like it did after the 2007 flood, will host a clean-up day all along the Riley Creek banks.