Rescues continue today in southwest Missouri

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Officials expect 2-3 more inches of rain through Monday

In the past 24 hours, about 32 high-water rescues have been completed in Barry and Lawrence counties, according to David Compton, Barry County Emergency Management director.

This afternoon, 10 people total had to be rescued from a home in McDowell by Mill Pond. As Purdy firefighters were attempting to rescue two people from a home, the water rose quickly, trapping 8 emergency personnel along with the homeowners. Barry County deputies and the Missouri State Highway Patrol were on scene, and the Highway Patrol's boat team was used to rescue the group.

Compton said a Springfield Swift Water Rescue Team was on its way, but everyone was moved to safety by about 5:30 p.m., just minutes before the team arrived.

Compton said in the 32 rescues Saturday and Sunday, only two people were hospitalized, including one person from a home south of Aurora, and another from a home south of Mt. Vernon. Both persons were hospitalized Saturday, then treated and released. Both were fine on Sunday morning, Compton said.

A portion of Main Street in Cassville is closed, and there were evacuations in Cassville and at the Marshall Trailer Park in Monett.

"Right now, water levels seem to be coming down," Compton said. We had a good 40-min lull in hard rain, but it has ticked up again. Between now and when everything ends sometime on Monday, we are expecting another two to three inches of rain."

The National Weather Service at 9:52 on Sunday reported 10.5 total inches of rainfall in Monett during the weekend storm, and it is still raining.

Compton said an emergency declaration was requested Saturday night, and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Sunday afternoon. Statewide, eight fatalities have been reported.

"Widespread flooding and continued rainfall are causing very dangerous conditions across much of central and southern Missouri," Nixon said. "Multiple fatalities due to flash flooding have already been reported, and I urge Missourians in flood-affected areas to stay alert, avoid travel if possible and never drive into a flooded roadway. With more heavy rain expected tonight and tomorrow, state emergency management personnel will be working around the clock to keep Missourians safe."

Compton said there is about $400,000 to $500,000 in damages to county infrastructure, per a preliminary assessment.

"Next week, we will start discussing damage assessment and what it will take to get another federal declaration," he said.

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