Flooding continues to cover several roads with water. The Highway Patrol is asking drivers to be patient, and err on the side of safety. The Patrol says there have been a few drownings this year due to high waters, and is asking Missourians to not take chances.
The National Weather Service says up to 5 inches of fell in Central Missouri Friday, which pushed the rivers to their limits, and beyond. Rescue crews recovered the body of a teenager caught in fast-rising water Friday in Eldon; A 72-year-old man also drowned Friday in flash flooding in Lawrence County; and a 55-year-old Ellington man drowned Saturday in a pond. Another man went missing on the Meramec River in Eureka. The body of an Everton man has been recovered from Stockton Lake; Ellington resident Matthew Stanley drowned when he became lodged in the drainage pipe of a private pond in southeast Missouri’s Reynolds County. A Monett resident was in a pickup truck swept away from a low-water bridge. He was found aout 200 yards downstream. Just two months ago, an 80-year-old woman has drowned after severe flooding in De Soto after her car washed off the road.
Lt. John Hotz says some roads might be clear almost immediately … others might be underwater for some time, until the rivers recede or the standing water evaporates. A flood warning continues for the Missouri River, the Corps of Engineers is working to protect cities from flooding along the Mississippi, and the National Weather Service predicts more rain this week.
The patrol is urging motorists to check their routes online before getting in their cars by going to the Missouri Department of Transportation website at www.MoDOT.org. You can also call 1.888.ASK.MODOT to speak to a live person about road conditions in your area.
Hotz says the biggest reason drivers should never risk it, is because it’s impossible to know what’s under the surface. He says it’s impossible to gauge depth, or even know if the road is still there underneath. He also says that water that appears to be still at the surface can have a dangerous undercurrent.