The winter weather in Pettis County continued through Monday evening, which was paired with a flood warning that extends through Tuesday morning.
The National Weather Service in Kansas City/Pleasant Hill issued a winter weather advisory for snow, sleet and freezing rain until 9 p.m. Monday. The combination of ice and snow accumulations will make travel hazardous on untreated roadways. Motorists should be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibilities; Sedalia Police Department officers responded to numerous vehicle accidents Monday.
“Things could be a little slick out, so use plenty of caution while driving,” Sedalia-Pettis County Emergency Management Agency Director Dave Clippert said via email. “Bridges will be especially slick. (Tuesday) it may still be very slick so continue to use plenty of caution while driving.”
The W-K Shoot-out basketball games at State Fair Community College — Concordia and Lincoln boys and girls — originally scheduled for 7:30 and 9 p.m. Monday have been moved to 6 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday due to the weather.
NWS has also issued a flood warning for Pettis, Cooper, Saline, Randolph, Howard and Chariton counties until 11 a.m. Tuesday. According to Clippert, Pettis County has received about 5 inches of rain since Saturday, as of Monday afternoon.
High water closed several roads across the warned area Monday due to the moderate and heavy rain which fell the past couple of days. Motorists are urged to not drive their vehicles into areas where the water covers the roadway. The water depth may be too great to allow a car to cross safely.
Drivers can look up road closures on MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map, located at www.modot.org, or call 1-888-ASK-MODOT to get updated information on road conditions.
Gov. Jay Nixon hosted a press conference Monday afternoon to address that Missouri’s death toll from floodwaters fueled by days of downpours has climbed to 10 and appeared likely to grow.
At least eight of the fatalities since Saturday were drownings, including four international soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood who died Saturday night when their vehicle was swept away in south-central Missouri’s Pulaski County, Nixon spokesman Scott Holste said later Monday. That came about the same time two other people in a vehicle perished in floodwaters about 10 miles away.
In southwestern Missouri’s Greene County, authorities said Steven Welton, 42, drowned in a creek when his vehicle was washed off a road, and tow truck driver Edward Kammerer, 60, was electrocuted by a downed power line.
Separate storm-related deaths also were reported in Dallas and Douglas counties, said Missouri State Highway Patrol Col. J. Bret Johnson, noting that three, separate body-recovery efforts still were underway in Pulaski, Polk and Jasper counties.
After storms that in some areas dumped 12 inches of rain since Saturday, Nixon said the death toll “brings a level of sadness to the duty you have to do.”
“We’re a long way from the finish of this, and I would ask people not to lose their focus here,” Nixon told reporters, a day after declaring a state of emergency in the state.
Nixon urged motorists to avoid driving into flooded roadways, even those with just a couple of feet of water. He noted that fast-moving water near southwestern Missouri’s Neosho lifted a train off its tracks.
Johnson said troopers as of midday Monday have responded to 32 water rescues. More than 280 state roads were closed, though Interstate 70 in St. Charles County, closed since Sunday, reopened Monday afternoon.
Record and near-record flooding has been reported in some areas, including near Joplin where Shoal Creek as of Monday was 4 feet above the previous record crest set in 2009. About 70 miles from there in Springfield, the 11.5 inches the city has received this month broke the local 1895 record, said Megan Terry, a National Weather Service meteorologist and hydrologist there.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is monitoring several agricultural levees that are at risk of being topped, said Jud Kneuvean, emergency management chief for the corps’ Kansas City district. He said people living in the affected communities are “in disbelief that they are seeing these kinds of floodwaters in December.”
Scott Watson, hydrologist for the National Weather Service office near Kansas City, said the good news is that the extended forecast appears to dry out, with below-normal precipitation expected over the next 10 days. He said a wintry system could bring light snow to Missouri by midweek, but rain is expected to subside after Monday.
In south-central Missouri’s Laclede County, Gasconade River floodwaters forced the closure Monday of eastbound Interstate 44, prompting a 49-mile detour, the state’s Department of Transportation said.