Ohio officials urge support for flood control

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FINDLAY, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio's U.S. senators and a congressman are again urging the Army Corps of Engineers to support federally-funded flood control along the Blanchard River in northwest Ohio.

Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman and Rep. Bob Latta in a second letter last week to the Corps again asked the agency to ensure that the project is funded in its 2014 work plan, The Courier in Findlay (http://bit.ly/1hE0o2O) reported. The letter stressed the economic importance of flood control to the region and urged Corps officials to consider the impact flood control would have on economic development in Findlay, Ottawa, and throughout the Blanchard River watershed.

"The Blanchard River region is primed for growth, but it won't be able to reach its full potential as long as the threat of flooding remains," Portman, a Republican, said.

Brown said the Blanchard River Flood Risk Management Project will help spur economic growth and also protect the Findlay and Ottawa communities from devastating disasters from flooding.

"But for this to happen, the U.S. Army Corps must commit the funds necessary for the project's completion," Brown, a Democrat, said.

Five major floods since 2007 have brought millions of dollars in damage to the cities of Findlay and Ottawa.

Latta, a Republican from northwest Ohio, also stressed the importance of the project to the region's economic future.

A message left Saturday at the Corps' offices in Washington was not immediately returned.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 provided a 10 percent funding increase for the corps, including $8 million in unallocated funds for flood control projects, as well as $3.6 million for general flood and storm damage reduction projects.

The letter notes that the additional funds are supposed to support flood control studies, particularly those that lead to significant economic benefits by avoiding damages caused by flooding, according to the newspaper.

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Information from: The Courier, http://www.thecourier.com