KOLR TV contributed to this report
700 roads have closed across Missouri because of flooding from extremely heavy rainfall over the weekend.
Some of the greatest damage occurred in southern Missouri’s West Plains. KOLR reports some structures had foundations washed out and walls destroyed.
West Plains Fire Chief Roy Sims says the rushing waters kept crews busy for nearly 12 hours as water rescues were continually performed Saturday.
“We tried to kind of keep a tally but we sort of lost count around 75 or 80 actual rescues so we’re happy with that,” said Sims.
Parts of the city were under six feet of water during the flooding, which had receded by yesterday. There were no reported injuries or deaths in West Plains.
After flash flooding moved through the Ozarks yesterday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers responded to high water levels on Lake Taneycomo. The Corps boosted flow through the 10 spillway gates at Table Rock Dam from 30,000 cubic feet per second in the morning to 62,000 by last evening.
Taney County Emergency Management Director Chris Berndt is watching the Corps’ actions. “My concern would be if [the Corps has] to go up, especially if it would have to be drastic,” said Berndt. “If the inflow continues high, then that’s what’s going to have to happen.”
Road closures, water rescues and suggested evacuations were widespread across Taney County yesterday.
Historic flooding on the Gasconade River in Laclede County has Interstate 44 shut down in both directions just northeast of Lebanon. Eastbound traffic is being diverted at Highway F and westbound at 63.
An alternate route through the area is along Highway 60 and Highway 63 between Springfield and Rolla.
MoDOT maintenance supervisor Tyann Alexander says debris will be cleared and the bridge will be inspected before it opens back up on I-44 over the river. “It’s going to be pretty bad, so that’s why we’re saying this is going to be closed down for a while, and we’re really going to have to make sure that we look to make sure that there’s no structural damage.”
MoDOT anticipates the water to recede by Tuesday. The river reached 35.2 feet yesterday afternoon, with expectations it’ll reach37 feet before receding. Its record before that was 34.9 feet.
Moderate to major flooding river basins along and south of a line from Columbia in mid-Missouri stretching into Illinois is expected. Those rivers include…Black, Bourbeuse, Meramec, Big, Cuivre, Maries, Moreau, Gasconade and Dardenne Creek.