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Warnings Aplenty Amid Unusual Weather Pattern

Rain
Light rain falls Tuesday morning on the MSU campus. Additional rains throughout the region on top of already saturated soil is causing flash flooding/Credit: Scott Harvey

High water rescues have been among the results of heavy rains in the Ozarks, as several inches have fallen within the last couple of days. KSMU's Scott Harvey has more.

In one instance, the National Weather Service office in Springfield was forced to issue a flood emergency for the Ft. Leonard Wood and Waynesville areas. A 4-year-old child is reported to have drowned and dozens of people had to evacuate their homes in Pulaski County, which has been placed under a state of emergency by Gov. Jay Nixon. Local officials estimate 50 or more homes were flooded after nearby creeks rose rapidly.

Meteorologist Mike Griffin says the current stalled-out front moving through the region is definitely an unusual weather pattern for this time of year, when we typically see warmer conditions and spot showers.

“And we’re seeing round after round after round of a very heavy rainfall and thunderstorms producing intense rainfall. And so the ground is saturated, and any additional rainfall is causing some serious flash flooding problems,” Griffin says.

Griffin says the region is expected to receive more heavy rainfall through the end of the week.

Speaking with Pulaski County officials Tuesday, Gov. Nixon cautioned that the threat of flooding is not over, and that the state will continue to provide assistance where needed. The Missouri State Highway Patrol has deployed additional marine operations troopers, a rescue helicopter and associated assets to the region to assist local emergency responders.

The dangerous conditions have local meteorologists and Missouri Department of Transportation officials again reiterating the call to motorists to “turn around, don’t drown.”  

The National Weather Service in Springfield said Tuesday that they have issued 30 flash flood warnings throughout their coverage area since Saturday morning.