Flash floods a concern in mid-Missouri due to nearby rivers

Missouri reported nine flooding-related deaths in 2017. (FILE)

Wednesday marked Flash Flood Safety day for Severe Weather Awareness Week.

According to the National Weather Service, six inches of water can knock someone off their balance and two feet can move a car.

Floods kill more people and cause more damage than any other severe weather-related event. Missouri reported nine flooding-related deaths in 2017.

In 2016, flash and river floods claimed 126 lives in the United States. That is the most recent available data. The 2016 total was down from 187 lives in 2015. The flood casualty 10-year average was 91 deaths.

Emergency responders said drivers need to be alert during periods of heavy rainfall.

"It might look like a puddle or dry area, but it can be really dangerous," Larry Benz the director of Cole County Public Works said. "People need to be aware of their surroundings when driving especially in those low lying areas."

Benz said to look for three signs in low lying areas:

  • First warning sign- Flood Area Ahead
  • Second warning sign- Impassable During High Water
  • Third warning sign- Do Not Enter When Flooded

Benz also said mid-Missourians, especially in Cole County, need to be prepared for flash flooding because of nearby rivers.

"We have several rivers here in the county. Along the northern side is the Missouri. We have the Moniteau on the northwest. We have the Osage on the south side. And the Moreau that goes through the middle of the county. Those rivers flood on a fairly regular basis," Benz said.

Benz said at least one driver needs assistance due to flooded areas in the county each year.

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