Colonel J. Bret Johnson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, reminds the public flooding is extremely dangerous to motorists and boaters. June 16, a man died after his car was swept away as he was attempting to cross a flooded roadway in Washington County.
Never drive through fast-moving waters; even a small amount of fast-moving water can sweep a slow-moving vehicle off the roadway. If your vehicle becomes stuck in rising water, get out quickly and move to higher ground. Due to continuing rainfall, several areas in Missouri are experiencing flooding. For information regarding road closures call the Road Condition Report hotline at 800-222-6400 or visit Missouri Department of Transportation’s (MoDOT) road condition map at the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s website www.mshp.dps.mo.gov.
For their safety and that of their passengers, drivers are reminded to stay alert while driving in areas known to flood. Barricades closing a roadway are there to protect you. Drivers must respect barriers or barricades put in place by MoDOT — it is extremely dangerous and a violation of state law to drive around them.
Weather conditions requiring the use of windshield wipers are usually those that affect visibility. Motorists are reminded that state law requires them to turn on their vehicle’s headlights any time they are using the windshield wipers. It only takes a second to turn on your vehicle’s headlights. But, that second could make you more visible to other drivers and prevent a traffic crash. Drivers need to slow down and turn on their headlights in rainy weather conditions.
The Patrol asks boaters across the state to take extra precautions when boating in flooded areas. Large amounts of rainfall cause rivers and lakes to become swollen. Many times the right decision is to stay off the water. In areas where lakes or rivers spill over the banks, erosion and damage can occur to flooded structures, docks, or water laden levees by boat wakes. Boaters should avoid operating in these areas. If operation in these areas is necessary, boaters should operate at idle speed so as to avoid causing a wake.
Flooded rivers and streams with moving currents present some of the most dangerous situations a boater can encounter. Fast moving water can easily capsize or flip a boat—or personal watercraft—especially when combined with fixed objects such as trees and buildings. Boaters should avoid any operations in these swift flowing waters.
Many lakes and rivers across the state have only seen routine increases in water levels. It is for the safety of the public and to minimize damage to property that the Highway Patrol requests boaters avoid waterways that have been impacted by the most severe flooding.
Approximately 63 percent of Missouri fatal crash victims who are required to be restrained are NOT at the time of the traffic crash. The Patrol urges motorists to protect themselves and their passengers by making sure everyone is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint. Join us in supporting the Drive To Zero Highway Deaths. Watercraft operators should ensure that everyone in the vessel is wearing an approved life jacket. Click It 4 Life And Wear It!