|Approximate location of the Muldoon Bridge flood gauge, along South Anthony Blvd extended, south of Ferguson Road. Muldoon Road is the diagonal road in the lower left corner.|
At 7:40 EST this morning, the National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the “St. Mary’s River at Muldoon Bridge, affecting Allen County.”
“Muldoon Bridge” is the location name the NWS gave to the flood gauge at the St. Mary’s River near the site of the former South Anthony Blvd. Extended bridge. That bridge has been gone for years, but the former bridge is near the intersection of South Anthony Extended and Muldoon Road.
Because that gauge is where NWS measures the level of the St. Mary’s River just before it enters Fort Wayne, that’s the location it gives in its flood warning. Of course, high water at that gauge also means high water downstream. The Muldoon Bridge flood gauge is the only NWS gauge on the St. Mary’s River near Fort Wayne. The next gauge downstream is on the Maumee River (after the confluence of the St. Mary’s and St. Joe forms the Maumee), on the North end of the Anthony Blvd. bridge.
At 7:30 a.m. EST, the river level at the Muldoon Bridge gauge was 13.67 feet.
Flood stage at that gauge is 14.0 feet, which is when parks and farmland throughout southern Allen County begin to flood. Also at 14.0 feet, the City of Fort Wayne usually begins 24-hour flood fighting procedures. The NWS considers 14.1 feet to be “minor flooding.” “Moderate flooding” wouldn’t begin until 17 feet, which is much higher than the river is forecast to rise.
The NWS forecasts the St. Mary’s river to rise above flood stage (at the Muldoon Bridge gauge) this evening and crest near 14.1 feet at around 7 a.m. EST tomorrow. Meteorologists forecast the river to remain above flood stage until around 10 a.m. EST Tuesday.
SKYWARN Spotters: The NWS is looking for “ground truth” flooding reports along the St. Mary’s River in and near Fort Wayne. If you see such flooding, please contact the NWS via telephone (using the unlisted spotter toll-free number), Twitter (@NWSIWX), Facebook or email. Ham radio-equipped spotters might be able to relay reports by calling a SKYWARN net control station (NCS), who can relay the report via NWSChat. Although NCS do not plan to stand up a net at this time, they will monitor local ham frequencies as time allows.
Here’s a link to an interactive map, on which you can see river levels at various flood gauges.