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Chillicothe News - Chillicothe, MO
  • Flash flooding worsens in Missouri, kills driver

  • A southwest Missouri woman died after another round of torrential downpours caused flash flooding that swept away her car, authorities said Thursday.
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  • A southwest Missouri woman died after another round of torrential downpours caused flash flooding that swept away her car, authorities said Thursday.
    McDonald County emergency management director Greg Sweeten said the woman died early Thursday when water from normally dry Brush Creek suddenly overwhelmed Route 90 near the town of Jane, Mo., flooding the road up to 6 feet deep.
    The victim's name has not been released.
    National Weather Service meteorologist Drew Albert said parts of southwest Missouri got 10 inches of rain overnight. McDonald County in the far southwest corner of the state was inundated with rain that seemingly came all at once.
    "Early this morning it just unleashed," Sweeten said.
    Fifteen people camping on an island on the Elk River near Noel had to be rescued. In fact, the county boat rescuing them broke down, and the rescuers themselves had to be saved by a boat from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Sweeten said. Two women were rescued from their homes in Powell, Mo.
    The town of Hollister also was hard hit, with about 100 buildings damaged when Turkey Creek came up suddenly, said Melissa Duckworth, assistant emergency management director in Taney County. More than two dozen people had to be rescued from homes, mostly mobile homes, in Hollister, which is near Branson. Two of the mobile homes were washed away. Another 50 or so residents were evacuated, and several trucks parked at a strip mall were washed down the creek.
    A Red Cross shelter opened in Hollister, but most of the displaced in southwest Missouri were staying with friends or relatives.
    In south-central Missouri, search crews in Waynesville continued to search for a woman missing since earlier this week when her car was swept away by flash flood waters. A 4-year-old boy, believed to be the woman's son, died, his body found near the creek.
    More rain fell overnight in the Waynesville area, near Fort Leonard Wood. Albert said parts of south-central Missouri received 15 inches of rain in a 48-hour period.
    Interstate 44 near Jerome in south-central Missouri reopened Thursday after flood waters receded, but many other roadways were closed in southern Missouri.
    Rain in Missouri has been extraordinarily heavy, but spotty, since the series of storms began Monday. Northern and eastern parts of the state have seen little rain while areas across the width of the state south of Interstate 70 have been, in many cases, inundated.
    Even more worrisome: More rain, potentially heavy rain, was in the forecast into the weekend.
    Albert said the terrain of southern Missouri has been a factor in the flash flooding.
    "We don't have a lot of big rivers in our area," he said, but the many smaller waterways "come up fast when it rains hard. They're really, really prone to flash flooding."
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