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Rain Causes Flooding in Christian County

As the rain continues to fall, business and home owners in Southwest Missouri are scrambling to prevent flood waters from damaging their property. Christian County officials are reporting more than 50 roads are blocked off due to flooding.

KSMU's Kristian Kriner reports.

In Ozark, the Finley River is overflowing and approaching surrounding buildings.

Shane Nelson is General Manager of the Heritage Chrysler Jeep Dealership in Ozark.

As of this afternoon the water had already flooded his parking lot and was quickly approaching the building.

"It came out of its banks about 7 o'clock this morning and then now it is up to probably thirty feet from the building. The rain we're getting and everything, I'm thinking it's going to be pretty bad," Nelson said.

Nelson and a coworker spent the afternoon in the rain duct taping plastic to the outside doors and waiting for 400 sandbags to arrive from the Christian County Office of Emergency Management.

Its director, Phil Amtower, says several of the roads in Christian County have been blocked off with barricades.

Amtower urges drivers not to remove the barricades.

"One of the problems we are running into right now is people are moving the barricades and just driving around them and we have already did four water rescues since last night of people that have tried to cross low water crossings and got washed off. We really like to ask the people not to move these barricades and under any circumstances drive across any of the roads that are flooded," said Amtower.

Governor Matt Blunt has just signed two State of Emergency Executive Orders for the flooding.

The Executive Orders allow state agencies to assist local organizations with their emergency response.

Bob Edwards, spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Transportation, reminds drivers to take extra caution on the roads.

"For one thing, driving on wet pavement, slow down because it is easier to lose control of your car. If you see substantial water across the road, don't drive into it. It doesn't take that much water to sweep you off the road and get in trouble in a hurry," said Edwards.

The rain is expected to continue until tomorrow morning.

For KSMU News, I'm Kristian Kriner.