With additional heavy rains predicted for today, many northeast Missouri ditches, streams and smaller rivers are expected to flood, causing roads to be impassable.
Since the rapidly moving water rises and falls quickly during flash flooding, the Missouri Department of Transportation reminds motorists it is dangerous to drive into water-covered roads.
MoDOT officials released the following statement: "If you're driving or walking and encounter flood water, turn around. Don't drown. It only takes six inches of water to knock over an adult and cause loss of control of a vehicle. A foot of water will float many vehicles and only two feet of rushing water will carry them away, including pickups and SUVs. The depth of flood water is not always obvious. It can be especially hard to judge at night. The best option is to play it safe and turn around."
MoDOT recommends motorists check the website or call 1-888-275-6636 for the latest information. All closures can be found online at http://www.modot.org/ on the Traveler Information Map.
The National Weather Service in St. Louis has issued a Flash Flood Warning for counties in central and northeast Missouri and central Illinois until 3:30 p.m. today.
Following is the weather statement:
"At 3:28 a.m. today, National Weather Service Doppler Radar indicated slow moving thunderstorms with very heavy rainfall across the warned area. Latest radar estimates and gound truth observations indicate that 3 to 5 inches of rain has fallen since yesterday over a large portion of northeast Missouri into west central Illinois. The highest amounts are centered along a line from near Shelbina to Philadelphia to north Quincy to Loraine. A number of roads are closed across this region due to high water.
"Runoff from this excessive rainfall will cause flash flooding to occur. Some locations that will experience flooding include Canton, Centralia, Columbia, Edina, Hannibal, Mexico, Monroe City, Palmyra, Paris, Quincy, Santa Fe, Shelbina, Camp Point, Center, Clarence, Clayton, Colony, Emden, Ewing, Fall Creek, Golden, Granville, Hallsville, Knox City, LaBelle, LaGrange, Lewistown, Madison, Maud and Maywood.
"A Flash Flood Warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring. If you are in the warning area, move to higher ground immediately. Residents living along streams and creeks should take immediate precautions to protect life and property. Do not attempt to cross swiftly flowing waters – or waters of unknown depth – by foot or by automobile.
"Additional rainfall amounts of around one inch are possible in the warned area.
"Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small creeks and streams, country roads, as well as farmland along the banks of creeks and streams. Do not drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. The water depth may be too great to allow your car to cross safely."
Page 2 of 2 - The NWS forecast for the area includes: Thunderstorms are expected to continue across much of the region today and this evening. The strongest storms will be capable of producing tornadoes and damaging winds. Storms will also produce heavy rainfall, especially across northeast Missouri and west central Illinois.
Forecast for Mexico: Showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 4 p.m. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Temperature falling to around 45 by 5 p.m. Breezy, with a west wind 11 to 20 mph. Tonight, scattered showers and thunderstorms before 7 p.m. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall.
NWS website: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lsx/