JEFFERSON CITY – The National Weather Service is warning of the potential for major flooding throughout the state, particularly along the Missouri River, which will affect the cities of Boonville, Jefferson City, Hermann and Washington.
With the Memorial Day weekend approaching, the Missouri Department of Transportation is urging travelers to plan their routes ahead of time and to pay attention to all road closure signs. During flooding, the road may no longer exist under the running or stationary water. Floodwaters can be deeper than they appear and can hide such hazards as sharp objects, electrical wires, sewage and chemicals.
In addition, MoDOT reminds motorists never to move or attempt to drive around barricades that block flooded roads. Barricades are put in place for motorists’ safety, yet MoDOT and law enforcement officials report they continue to see drivers either maneuver around the road blocks or move them to get through.
“Moving a barricade is dangerous for the person doing it and also puts others at risk by removing the warning sign,” said Natalie Roark, state maintenance director. “Whether driving or walking, any time you come to a flooded area or barricade, remember the saying: turn around, don’t drown.”
Here are some important safety reminders:
- Don't drive through any flooded areas. A few extra minutes for a detour could lead to a life saved.
- MoDOT reminds motorists it only takes six inches of water (or less!) to lose control of your vehicle and possibly be swept into rising floodwaters.
- Any time there is water over the roadway, there may be unseen damage to the road surface below.
- Stay alert and do not drive through water over a roadway or around construction barricades. MoDOT encourages all motorists to Turn Around! Don’t Drown!
Motorists can stay informed about Missouri road conditions by using MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map, available online at modot.org, or through MoDOT’s smartphone app, available for iPhone and Android mobile devices.
For more information, call MoDOT at 888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636) or visit www.modot.org. To receive the latest statewide news and text alerts, signup for e-updates.