Steady rain brings road closures, risk of flash flooding

Monday, May 27, 2013 | 3:12 p.m. CDT; updated 4:27 p.m. CDT, Monday, May 27, 2013

COLUMBIA — Flash flooding was a growing concern as water from steady and heavy rain began to cover roadways on Monday afternoon, Columbia Fire Department Battalion Chief James Weaver said.

"Half the people that die in floods die in vehicles," Weaver said. "Don't drive through water. If there's water coming in the roadway, turn around. Find another route."

Boone County Road Closures

The Columbia-Boone County Office of Emergency Management monitors road closures in real time on its website. As of 2:30 p.m. Monday, these roads were either partially or fully closed due to flooding:

  • Lockwood Lane bridge at Lick Fork
  • Willis Road West at Reeder Creek due to a washout
  • Strawn Road at I-70 Drive Southwest
  • The 4200 Block of Route E at Perche Creek
  • Red Rock Road at the Reeder Creek low-water crossing also due to a washout.

Lockwood and Willis roads were scheduled to reopen Tuesday, while Red Rock Road was scheduled to reopen Friday.

Nearly 1.6 inches of rain had fallen between midnight and 3 p.m. Monday, according to the Sanborn Field Weather Station at MU. That was on top of 0.38 inches that fell on Sunday, bringing the total to nearly 2 inches.

Flooding stranded a vehicle near the Twin Bridges over Perche Creek on Route E, prompting a water rescue around 4:30 Monday morning. Boone County Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Gale Blomenkamp said it was a routine rescue with no injuries.

Route E and parts of Route ZZ between Route TT and West Worley Street were closed. Vandiver Drive, Highway 124 and Route V also were among the flooded roads, Weaver said.

Weaver also warned of the danger of getting swept away by the sheer force of moving water.

"The force of water is very deceiving," Weaver said. "Thousands of pounds of force is behind that water when it's moving, so you can't withstand that."

At 3:01 p.m., the National Weather Service issued an urban and small stream flood advisory for Boone County. It was scheduled to remain in effect until 9 p.m.

"Thunderstorms with very heavy rainfall were ending across the advisory area," the statement said. "However, runoff will continue to cause minor flooding over the next several hours."

The threat of heavy rain was expected to taper off Monday night, but a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms was forecast after 11 p.m. There were slight chance of thunderstorms predicted on Tuesday and Wednesday, and high temperatures were expected to reach the mid- to upper-80s.

Thunderstorm chances were forecast to be 50 percent and 60 percent on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

Supervising editor is Katie Moritz.

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