Friday, July 1, 2016

Forecasted Heavy Rain May Cause Flash Flooding Dangers For Missouri Motorists And Boaters‏

Colonel J. Bret Johnson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, urges the public to make smart decisions regarding flash flooding. The weather forecasts indicate heavy rains may cover much of Missouri which may affect safety on both the waterways and roadways. Flooding, especially flash flooding, has proven to be extremely dangerous and can be fatal. The Patrol has placed additional assets and manpower “on call” in areas expected to be most affected.

Never drive through fast-moving waters; even a small amount of fast-moving water can sweep a slow-moving vehicle off the roadway. If your vehicle becomes stuck in rising water, get out quickly and move to higher ground. Flooding earlier this year resulted in several deaths as well as many water rescues. 

Drivers are reminded to stay alert while driving in areas known to flood. Barricades closing a roadway are there to protect you. Drivers must respect barriers or barricades put in place by MoDOT — it is extremely dangerous and a violation of state law to drive around them. For information regarding road closures please visit the Missouri Department of Transportation’s (MoDOT) road condition map at the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s website

Drivers should slow down and turn on their headlights in these types of conditions. Weather conditions requiring the use of windshield wipers are usually those that affect visibility. Motorists are reminded that state law requires them to turn on their vehicle’s headlights any time they are using the windshield wipers. Your vehicle’s headlights can make you more visible to other drivers and prevent a traffic crash. 

The Patrol asks boaters across the state to take extra precautions when boating in flooded areas. Large amounts of rainfall can cause rivers and lakes to become swollen. Many times the right decision is to stay off the water. In areas where lakes or rivers spill over the banks, erosion and damage can occur to flooded structures, docks, or water laden levees by boat wakes. Boaters should avoid operating in these areas. If operation in these areas is necessary, boaters should operate at idle speed so as to avoid causing a wake. 

Flooded rivers and streams with moving currents present some of the most dangerous situations a boater can encounter. Fast moving water can easily capsize or flip a boat—or personal watercraft—especially when combined with fixed objects such as trees and buildings. Boaters should avoid any operations in these swift flowing waters