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 www.mshp.dps.mo.gov.
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