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Heavy Rains and Flooding Shut Down Area Roadways

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/heavyrains_1913.mp3

High water from heavy rain and storms closed about 47 roads throughout Southwest Missouri today. The Missouri Department of Transportation said the largest road impacted was US Highway 71 between Carthage and Lamar. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

Shelton: High water from heavy rain and storms closed about 47 roads throughout Southwest Missouri today. The Missouri Department of Transportation said the largest road impacted was US Highway 71 between Carthage and Lamar.

Lori Marble is the community relations manager for the Missouri Department of Transportation, Southwest Region, which includes Joplin and surrounding counties in extreme Southwest Missouri.

Marble: Things are improving with each passing hour. At the height of things, we had 24 road closures, the most vital of which was closing US 71. We closed from Lamar to Carthage due to water over the roadways. That effected a lot of people. We have just within the last few minutes been able to open southbound travel and we'll open northbound in the next 15-20 minutes. We now have 16-17 roads closed, which on any given day would be an enormous amount but coming down from 24 we're really pretty pleased with that.

Shelton: What has been the problem...heavy localized rain and then ensuing flooding that's occurred?

Marble: Absolutely. The most impact has been in Jasper County. From 6 Sunday night to 9 this morning, we had 7 inches of rain. Then between 9AM and noon, we had another 3 inches fall. Within an 18 hour period, we had 10 inches of rain. Wherever you're at, that's a lot for the ground to soak up. It was a lot, localized, very fast.

Shelton: Sounds like drivers just need to keep up with the very latest on the road conditions.

Marble: They can go online to www.modot.org or they can call 888-ASK MODOT.

Shelton: That was Lori Marble, community relations manager for the Missouri Department of Transportation, Southwest Region.