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The remains of Hurricane Isaac--now a depression--are hitting the Ozarks. The much-needed downpour is predicted to bring three to four inches of rain to the area before it moves east. City officials encourage residents to still enjoy their Labor Day weekend activities, but with caution. KSMU’s Rebekah Clark files this report.
According to the Greene County Office of Emergency Management, forecasters predict spots of flooding around the Ozarks in the next two days. Director Ryan Nicholls says if people are careful, they can still plan on doing fun things to enjoy the holiday. However, he heavily cautions recreants who plan to spend time along local rivers. He reminds everyone that rainfall will cause water to rise quickly.
“Enjoy the weekend. The things we are concerned about again, is the water coming up fast, and really when you get on the rivers to the east, the recreational rivers like the Current River, Niangua, Eleven Point—those areas are getting a lot more rain also. If you’re camping along the river bank, or having recreational activities along there, that water could rise very fast.”
The farther east people go, he says, the more they should watch for high water and flood plains.
“As you get more east of 65 and more in the West Plains area, that’s where they are expecting larger amounts of rain. I would fully expect flooding. On our end from Springfield and Greene County, we should just get a pretty good storm that helps to hopefully bring us the rain that we have so much desired.”
Nicholls doesn’t foresee any hazardous disasters this weekend due to the rain, but he does offer a few safety tips, just in case.
“The main thing with flooding that we see a lot is when we get flooded roads is people driving through the flooded areas with their cars or walking through them and getting trapped or swept away. Our main message is: turn around and don’t drown.”
He says after Saturday night, the storm should move through the area, leaving nicer weather.
For KSMU News, I’m Rebekah Clark.