Many of you know that my area has been declared a disaster area due to flooding. It’s been awful for so many people impacted. Most of the rivers are in my greater backyard, meaning minimum ten miles away from the closest leg of the twisty and winding Big Piney River. The Gasconade and Roubidoux are further away—at least 30 minutes away. They all interconnect and man what a mess when they all hit flood stage. The Big Piney has lots of little streams and creeks that shoot off from the main river. We happen to have one finger that winds around the backside of our property and it wrecked havoc with flowing over the county roads, flooding fields, trapping people at home, not because the waters came into their houses but because they couldn't use the roads to get out to yet more roads that were also closed and flooding. But, we faced minor issues in comparison to towns 30 minutes from here and closer to the rivers.
We've been getting a lot of rain the past two weeks from a series of slow moving thunderstorms and more than our normal rainfall. We got quite a lot the first weekend of August and already the rivers were high from all the runoff. The ground was saturated and the storms that blew into our area Saturday and Sunday and just kept coming. By Monday morning it was getting serious. We were getting a lot of warnings for flooding and flash floods.
In this area we have a lot of low water bridges—maybe two or three feet above the normal water flow. (click on any of the pictures to enlarge)
We received about 15 inches of rain in 48 hours. Roubidoux Creek was 18.6’above flood stage on Monday the 6th and 20.14' August 7th at 6:30 pm by morning it was well over 21 feet, Little Piney almost 15’, the Gasconade was cresting at 28’ over flood stage on Wednesday the 7th and higher. The streets and roads in that area disappeared under the water. Even a section of I-44 closed due to a lake where the interstate used to be. Houses were half or more full of water. Some were pulled off their foundations by the force of the water. We tend to forget just how destructive water is when in flood stage. Especially flash floods.
Flash floods can be extremely dangerous, instantly turning a normally calm creek or stream into wall of water and sweeping everything in its path downstream. Scary to see, but even scarier to hear it coming and know you have seconds to react and get the hell out of its path. During this storm some of the rivers rose fifteen feet (that’s 15) in twenty-five minutes. Think about that. Flash floods can turn streams or creeks into a Class 4 and 5 whitewater rivers. No lie.
Like I said, we live in hill country and flash floods happen. One of the things that amaze me is people’s stupidity thinking they can cross a familiar road that’s flooded. Did you know that 66% of flood deaths occur in vehicles when the driver makes the mistake of thinking they can navigate through the floodwater? Especially at night. If the water is flooding then it means there is a current and one that is usually much stronger than a person thinks.
Six inches (6”) of fast moving water can knock a person down. Six inches can reach the bottom of most passenger cars and cause you to lose control or stall. Two (2') feet of rapidly moving water can float a large vehicle, even a bus or firetruck.
That goes for you and your pickup truck, Mr. Yahoo Smallbrain. “Well lil’ lady, I got me this here won ton pickup truck. It’s tuff. I’m tuff.”
“Uh-huh. I’ll be sure to send a tow truck to pull your sorry butt out of the mud once the waters recede. If we can find you.”
According to The Weather Channel, one-third of flooded roads and bridges are so damaged by water any vehicle trying to cross stands only a 50% chance of making it to the other side.
How high is the water? Well, I like the sign that says, TURN AROUND DON'T DROWN.
Sounds smart to me.