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South Springfield Shocked by Flash Flood

<st1:place><st1:city>SPRINGFIELD</st1:city>,&nbsp;<st1:state>Mo.</st1:state></st1:place>&nbsp;-- Nine to ten inches of rain fell in the span of about two hours yesterday in parts of&nbsp;<st1:place><st1:placename>Greene&nbsp;</st1:placename><st1:placetype>County,</st1:placetype></st1:place>&nbsp;creating flooded roadways and stalling cars.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Nine to ten inches of rain fell in the span of about two hours yesterday in parts of Greene County, creating flooded roadways and stalling cars.

"It's been chaotic," says Springfield Fire Department Rescue Specialist Jeff Elliott. "Mostly it's been checking on people who have tried to drive through flood water. There have been people calling in and saying 'I'm stuck here or someone is stuck there.'"

The Springfield Fire Department was extremely busy-- staging its water rescue vehicle on the south side of town after darkened skies moved into Greene County bringing thunderstorms and a lot of heavy rain.

"The storms just exploded over the southern part of the city," says National Weather Service Meteorologist Steve Runnels. "Up until about one 1:00 p.m. we had nine to ten inches of rain in some parts."

Raindrops turned to puddles and before the blink of an eye roadways and cars were underwater.

"Even though your vehicle is heavy, the water is buoyant and can lift you up in your car and that's how you lose traction and get blown off the side of the road," Elliott says. "And you can get into trouble that way."

"It really takes no water to impact a car driving across the roadway," says Larry Woods with the Springfield/Greene County Office of Emergency Management. "A few inches of rapidly running water is enough to float a car and wash it off the road."

The downpours put quite the damper on Greene County-- prompting the National Weather Service to issue an emergency flash flood warning.

"As the rainfall continued to pile up, we issued a flash flood emergency," Runnels said. "This was a very incredible heavy rainfall event that happened to strike south Springfield."

And as the rain continues to fall, officials want to get one main message across-- if you see water, turn around and don't drown.

"Don't drive through flood water," Elliott says.

"The rule of thumb is very simple," says Runnels. "If you ever see an area of water that covers the road-- turn around, don't drown."

Officials say it's very important for families to be prepared and have a plan whether that's evacuating or just putting valuables in a safe place where they won't get damaged by flooding.

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