In Missouri, when thunderstorms stall they can produce several inches of rainfall in just a couple of hours. When the ground becomes saturated, creeks and streams have been known to rise eight or 10 feet in a matter of minutes. This is the most dangerous time and why it’s called “flash flooding.” The rushing water and the debris it carries can rapidly wash out roads and cover low water crossings and bridges.
- NEVER risk driving in floodwater, even if it appears shallow. Water obscures drop offs in the road and it could be washed out. Less than two feet of moving water can carry away a vehicle.
- Be especially careful driving when visibility is low due to darkness or heavy rain. You could drive into a flooded stretch of road without noticing it until it’s too late.
- If your vehicle winds up in floodwater, abandon it and get to higher ground if you can do so safely.
- When floodwaters recede, roads may be weakened and could collapse under the weight of a vehicle. Follow instructions from authorities.
- NEVER walk through floodwater. Rushing water can sweep you away. And, even still water hides hazards underneath, including dips in a road or the terrain. Also, the water could be electrically charged from downed power lines. Stay away.
- Never let children play in floodwater. They can be sucked into drain pipes or become entangled in hidden hazards.
- Always pay attention to the local weather forecast. Avoid or postpone unnecessary travel when conditions warrant.