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Experts Say Amounts of Rainfall Unusual for October

Officials from the Missouri Department of Transportation say they are blocking off several roads around Springfield due to flooding and they expect the roads to stay underwater for the next few days. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner reports.

Bob Edwards, spokesman for MODOT, says several of the creeks and rivers that have flooded over the roads are completely impassable right now.

“If you live or drive through areas where you’re crossing the James River, the Finley, the Bryant Creek, Spring Creek, Cascanade River, Osage Fork, Hunter Creek, Calfskin Creek, North Fork River, you name it especially in rural areas, you’re probably going to have water over the road,” Edwards said.

He says flooding happens in the Ozarks a lot because of the low lying creeks and the roads that cross over them.

Edwards says as the roads dry up, drivers need to watch out for left over debris.

“In some areas, low lying areas there may be debris that is left on the road. A lot of it is wood debris or tree debris that has fallen upstream on some of these creeks and rivers and sometimes they get stuck on the road. So, we are cleaning those up as we find them and if you see a lot of debris on the road, again, be very careful,” Edwards said.

He says flooding is normal this time of year and Bill Davis, meteorologist for the National Weather Service, agrees.

Davis says the Springfield area has received at least five inches of rain, but other areas in the Ozarks have seen up to nine or ten inches.

He says a lot of rain is expected in October, but not this much rain at one time.

“A very dynamic system that passed through us over the past 24 hours and not unusual or out of the ordinary for this time of year, but the rainfall amounts are out of the usual. Generally, with a system like this we would get maybe two or three inches of rain, but the fall has started out with a bang,” Davis said.

Davis says along with the rain came cooler temperatures that may be here to stay.

He says he knew that this area would get a lot of rain and he tried to get the word out.

“Earlier this week, we had already been advertising. We went back and forth with four to six inches, you know, on average. There was a point I think there two days before that we that we thought we could get eight to nine inches,” Davis said.

Both Edwards and Davis want to remind drivers not to drive over any flooded roads or areas with standing water.

For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.