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April 25, 2013

Thunderstorms Spread Flooding Across Region



Flash floods hit Scotland County Thursday morning as heavy rains that fell overnight finally forced waters out of the river banks. Robyn Cater captured this flooding near Bible Grove after the precipitation neared the five inch mark on the rain gauge.



After a season lacking moisture, local creeks and streams were replenished and then some, as heavy rains on April 17th and 18th led to wide spread flash flooding across northeast Missouri.

The National Weather Service reported rain totals between four to six inches in Scotland County during the two days. That led to extensive flooding in the region. Flood waters breached the banks of the North Fabius River making for some tense moments for property owners along the canal. Flood waters threatened the Fuller Farms shop and the Hometown Animal Health store, but ultimately receded.

The waters made it to the parking area of Village Market on the west side of the river and spilled over into the neighboring farm ground submerging the region around the Highway 136 and 15 junctions. The waters never reached the roadways themselves.

"I can only remember one other time it flooded that bad down there," said Scotland County Sheriff Wayne Winn. "One time in the 70s I remember watching a couple guys in a boat bow fishing down around the fairgrounds after the canal got out like that."

While the waters did not stop traffic on the west side of town, that was not the case across Scotland County.

Sheriff Winn reported numerous road closures due to high waters. Route MM, or Ridge Road was closed due to flooding. Route C, T, H, A and W all were closed as well due to flooding near bridges.

Emergency service personnel placed road signs and barriers at the scenes to warn motorists of the closures.

The Missouri Department of Transportation reported all roadways were back open to traffic by Friday.

"Since the rapidly moving water rises and falls quickly during flash flooding, MoDOT reminds motorists it is dangerous to drive into water-covered roads," said Tana Akright, MoDOT Customer Relations Specialist. "If you're driving or walking and encounter flood water, turn around. Don't drown. It only takes six inches of water to knock over an adult and cause loss of control of a vehicle. A foot of water will float many vehicles and only two feet of rushing water will carry them away, including pickups and SUVs. The depth of flood water is not always obvious. It can be especially hard to judge at night. The best option is to play it safe and turn around."

As of Thursday afternoon, April 18, 286 road closures were posted on MoDOT's Traveler Information Map, located at www.modot.org. The majority of flooded roadways were in the northern half of the state, and most are lettered and numbered routes with low traffic volumes. The flooding did impact three major routes, eastbound U.S. 36, near Shelbina, U.S. 24, both directions, near Huntsville in Randolph County and U.S. 61 near Alexandria, near the Iowa State line.

"MoDOT crews are closely monitoring roadways and are prepared for more temporary closures as the rivers across the state continue to rise," said Beth Wright, MoDOT State Maintenance Engineer. "We encourage travelers to visit our Traveler Information Map before hitting the road to check the latest road conditions and closures."

On Friday morning, at approximately 11:30 a.m., MoDOT and Illinois Department of Transportation crews closed US 24 eastbound at the Mississippi River at West Quincy. The Quincy Bayview Bridge was opened two-way traffic to and from Quincy, IL handling both east and westbound traffic until flood waters recede.


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