Flood Watch for SW Missouri - Drivers Urged to Use Caution

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for much of southwest Missour, beginning Friday at 1:00 a.m. and lasting until Saturday morning.

The Springfield Fire Department is warning drivers to be careful while out driving in the rainy weather. 

"We're expecting a lot of water," says David Pennington of the Springfield Fire Department. 

And that tends to turn into flooding; conditions that can make driving hazardous.

 "Anytime that there's a change in road conditions whether it's rain or it's snow, we recommend that you reduce your speed," says Pennington. 

In the past two years, firefighters have responded to 38 swift water rescues usually involving people driving through low-water crossings and over flooded roadways.

"If it's in an area that's dark, which is some of the farm roads and roads outside the city, the road just looks wet to you and before you realize it, the water's over your hood," says Pennington. 

Areas underneath the railroad tracks on Glenstone are known for collecting a lot of water during a heavy rain, so the Springfield Fire Department advises against driving in that section of a town during a downpour.

"The best way to stay safe is to not drive into the water into flood waters to take that chance," says Pennington. 

Greene County Emergency Management agrees. During times of flood watches, the agency goes into an enhanced monitoring state in order to provide the latest information to its partners.

"Our office creates hazard reports and we send those out to just highlight the conditions that are to be expected. We know that our fire teams here have the water rescue teams that will go out and often perform water rescues in flooding events. It's really important to remember just don't get into that situation, just avoid that completely and find an alternate route," says Erin Hedlun of Springfield-Greene County Emergency Management. 

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters. 


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