FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2011


State Emergency Management Agency advises Missourians to be prepared for possible flooding and to remember safe driving rules

Agency is monitoring conditions as forecast calls for possibility of more storms throughout weekend and continuing next week

With rain falling throughout much of Missouri today and the weather forecast calling for more storms with significant rainfall totals over the weekend, the State Emergency Management Agency is reminding Missourians to be prepared for the possibility of localized flooding and to drive cautiously if they encounter water on roadways, which can be deceptive and dangerous. 
SEMA has been in contact with the National Weather Service and local emergency management officials since Thursday, and continues to closely monitor the weather forecast and conditions throughout the state.
"The forecast calls for the possibility of heavy rain and the potential for strong storms and flash flooding over the weekend and into next week," said State Emergency Management Agency Director Paul Parmenter. "Because some rivers and streams are already running high, residents in low level areas and areas prone to flooding should pay attention to weather forecasts for their area and be prepared.”
SEMA is working with the weather service to track the storm system, which initially is expected to deposit the most rainfall in southern Missouri. The NWS forecast calls for severe thunderstorms this evening and through the overnight hours for some areas of Missouri. Over the next few days, some areas are expected to receive more than five inches of rain, with locally higher amounts possible.
Important weather terms:
·    Flash Flood Watch is issued when the National Weather Service expects rainfall to be heavy enough to produce flash flooding. The amount of rainfall needed to produce flash flooding depends on the terrain, soil saturation and localized river or stream flooding.
·    Flash Flood Warning is issued when flash flooding is imminent or in progress. Motorists are encouraged to avoid low-lying, flood-prone areas and flooded roads.
·    Thunderstorms may produce flash floods especially in dry creek beds.
All Missourians should remember these driving tips:
§ Never drive through fast-moving water; less than 6 inches of fast-moving water can sweep a slow-moving vehicle off the roadway. Water over the road can be deceptively deep.
§ If your vehicle becomes stuck in rising water, get out quickly and move to higher ground but be careful not to step into a flooded ditch along the road.
§ Respect barriers or barricades put in place by MoDOT or local agencies – they are there to protect you. Do not go around them.
If flash flooding is likely in your area, listen to the radio or television for information and be prepared to move to higher ground.
Motorists are encouraged to check www.modot.mo.gov for updated road conditions.   

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For more information, call 573-751-4819 or e-mail [email protected]