Gasconade overflows in Maries County

Water reaches the porch of a house off Maries County Rd. 325

The Gasconade River in Maries County is nearing record heights, flooding Maries County homes and closing a portion of Highway 63 south of Vienna.

Maries County resident Mark James stood on the bridge and described the scene behind him.

"That's a corn field behind me. And you can't tell it right now but it's full grown...probably seven feet tall, and the river's completely over it," James said.

James and his family awoke Wednesday morning without electricity in their home. Flooding prevented his wife from getting to work, but James has his health on his mind.

"I just have to have electricity to do my dialysis. I have to do it every day," he said.

Maries County Sheriff's Deputy Joe Turnbough said the flooding kept the Sheriff's Office busy overnight and throughout Wednesday.

"We've had some flooding and some damage done to some of the local houses here in the county...people had to be rescued," Turnbough said.

He also said the danger comes not just from high river levels, but the rate the river is rising.

"The flash flood hit so fast last night I know some people were unaware of it," Turnbough said.

Mark Honse, chief of the Vienna Fire Protection District, also said the quickly rising river caught some off guard.

"I know one particular individual who woke up this morning and he got up to a wet floor. Lost his vehicle, lost everything," Honse said.

Both offered some advice to help Maries County residents get through the flood safely.

"Evacuate. If there's any concern just go to another friend's house. Get to higher ground," Honse said,

"Just be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of where the low water bridges are. If you cross one, the water rises very, very quickly, and then they may actually be trapped on that side and not be able to get back over," Turnbough said.