JEFFERSON CITY—Heavy amounts of rainfall in a relatively short period of time are producing flash flooding in areas, even those not typically prone to flooding. Travelers in Missouri are advised to remain alert for the possibility of flooding as heavy rainfall is forecast for much of the state throughout the weekend and into early next week.
Flood warnings have been issued for most of the state and flash flooding could occur during heavy downpours. The Missouri Department of Transportation urges all motorist to be alert for flood waters in roadways as heavy rain and localized river crests can cause road conditions to change quickly.
“Our crews have been working diligently to keep up with barricading flooded roads,” said Natalie Roark, state maintenance director. “We’re seeing flooding on roads where we’ve never seen flooding before. Please be alert for rapidly changing road conditions. If there is water over the road, turn around, don’t drown.”
Floodwaters can be deeper than they appear and can hide such hazards as sharp objects, electrical wires, sewage and chemicals. There’s a possibility that the road under the water no longer exists. Even the best four-wheel-drive vehicle will lose against rapidly moving water and no traction.
For your own safety and the safety of everyone in your vehicle, please take heed of these lifesaving tips:
- Don't drive through flooded areas.
- Less than six inches of water can turn your car into a poorly engineered canoe, with no ability to slow down, steer…or float.
- When you see water over the roadway, assume that the roadway below it is either damaged or destroyed.
- Your driving headlights should be turned on whenever you are using your windshield wipers. It’s the law!
- Reduce your speed for the conditions. Hydroplaning can occur at speeds as low as 35 m.p.h.
- Turn Around! Don’t Drown!
To find out about roads closed to flooding, check MoDOT’s Traveler Information map to see current road conditions. The map is available at traveler.modot.org, or through MoDOT’s smartphone app, available for iPhone and Android mobile devices.