WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (KMOX) — More rain is expected in already saturated areas of south-central Missouri, causing flooding that has forced the closure of I-44 and the evacuation of dozens.
Over the last 48 hours more than 10 inches of rain has fallen near Fort Leonard Wood.
So far Waynesville Mayor Luge Hardman confirmed that about 50 homes have been deemed destroyed and hundreds more flooded. Hardman told KMOX about hundred homes are also without electricity. The electricity in roughly 80 of those home have been turned off for safety reasons.
According to ABC 17 News a Maries County man was shocked Wednesday afternoon when he used a boat to check on his flooded home. He was flown to a local hospital in critical condition.
The American Red Cross has come to the aid of several flood victims in Phelps, Pulaski, Maries and Miller counties.
In Pulaski County, about 14 people spent Tuesday night in a shelter, and several more were delivered hot meals by Red Cross volunteers. The Red Cross has shelter sites on standby and more volunteers ready to deploy if necessary.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has closed many roads because of rising flood waters. All lanes of Interstate 44 from mile marker 172 to mile marker 186 near Jerome in Phelps County are closed to drivers.
Motorists and commercial motor carriers traveling eastbound on I-44 are asked to exit at mile marker 69 and take Route 360 to Route 60 at Springfield to Route 63 at Cabool to get back on to I-44 at Rolla.
Travelers westbound on I-44 should take Route 63 at Rolla to Route 60 at Cabool to Route 360 to get back on to I-44 west of Springfield.
MoDOT has put up barriers at the closures, as well as signs to mark the detours.
“We will continue to monitor these areas until the flood waters recede,” said MoDOT Central District Engineer David Silvester.
THREAT NOT OVER
Mayor Hardman said that while some water has receded Wednesday, the threat is not over.
“Weather models are showing more rain tomorrow (Thursday) night, and tomorrow night maybe a very bad night for us,” Hardman said.
Governor Jay Nixon who declared a state of emergency yesterday was forced to cancel his trip to Waynesville Wednesday because of concerns that more flooding maybe on the horizon.
But despite the struggles the sudden flooding has caused the region Hardman told KMOX the community is pulling together.
“Last night I had sixty messages on Facebook and about fifty emails and not one of them had the word me in it!” said Hardman.