Miller County Emergency Management Director Barlow Biggers says the county hasn’t seen Osage River flooding like this in 30 years.
As of 11:00am Wednesday, Biggers says 30 county roads and three highways had been closed or are under water. He says the fire department had also already had to respond to three swift water rescues, which were all successful.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency after heavy rain caused flash flooding in the south-central part of the state. Nixon has spoken with emergency responders in Pulaski County and Waynesville, assuring them the region will get help.
A child was killed and several homes and businesses damaged after several inches of rain last night and this morning caused flooding in Waynesville. The Highway Patrol deployed extra troopers, a rescue helicopter and other assets to help emergency responders. Nixon's executive order also activates the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan, allowing state agencies to coordinate directly with local jurisdictions on emergency services.
Drought remains a threat to Missouri, despite the wet spring and improved rainfall this summer.
Right now, a large portion of northwest Missouri is experiencing moderate drought conditions, while the rest of the state is classified as either “abnormally dry” or normal.
“We are looking at abnormally wet conditions along the Mississippi River and points to the east, where things get progressively wetter across parts of south-central Illinois," said Mark Fuchs, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service office in St. Louis.
After several days of heavy rain across the lower Missouri River basin, the amount of water released into the river is being reduced to help minimize flooding.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it began reducing the amount of water flowing into the Missouri River on Sunday because of concerns about flooding downstream. On Sunday, the Corps decreased the amount of water being released from Gavins Point Dam, located on the South Dakota-Nebraska state line, from 24,000 cubic feet per second to 12,000 cubic feet per second.
“… that will help the peak stages on the river in some locations and also shorten the duration of the high flows,” the Corps’ Jody Farhat said.
Arbor Day celebrations have come and gone, but winter weather is gripping the Plains and Upper Midwest. The storm that dumped snow in the Rockies a day earlier is threatening to blanket parts of the region with up to 8 inches of snow on Thursday.
The National Weather Service warns: "Significant accumulations of snow continue to be reported across portions of southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa, with over 15 inches already in Dodge Center, (Minn.)."
Storms packing rain, snow and dangerous winds have raked the Midwest, spawning a possible tornado outside of St. Louis that prompted an emergency declaration from Missouri's governor.
To the north icy weather left thousands without power and prompted Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton to call out the state National Guard to aid residents as the state braced for another storm system that threatened to dump several inches of wet snow Thursday.
Heavy rains from Hurricane Isaac provided relief to some – but not all – farmers and ranchers in the drought-stricken Midwest, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor’s weekly report, which came out on Thursday.