Rainy Weather and Flash Flooding at the Lake of the Ozarks: Staying Safe on the Road while Weathering the Elements

Price & Randle

Flash flood at Lake of the Ozarks

A Flash Flood Warning was issued for a number of counties throughout Missouri Friday morning, including both Camden and Miller counties; this means that flash flooding in the area is either imminent or has actually been reported. Due to the danger of navigating the roadways during such weather conditions, the National Weather Service recommends extreme caution and advises drivers to turn around when approaching areas that appear to be flooded.

At the Lake of the Ozarks, many drivers are accustomed to traversing relatively dangerous roadways during many different types of weather. When flooding begins, though, even the most skilled and responsive drivers can be victimized.  According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), not much water is required to create major problems for drivers and pedestrians. As little as six inches of rapidly-flowing water can topple a standing adult, a foot of water can sweep away a small car, and two feet of water can sweep away a larger car, pickup truck, or SUV.

Even before water begins accumulating and leads to potentially deadly flash flooding, rainy weather can lead to serious motor vehicle accidents.

Below are some safety guidelines that can be followed to minimize the risk of accident during adverse weather conditions:

  • Reduce traveling speed.
  • Do not use cruise control.
  • Avoid braking suddenly if hydroplaning occurs.
  • Allow additional space between cars.
  • If pooling water can be seen ahead, turn the vehicle around and seek higher ground.
  • Employ headlights even during daylight hours; if the windshield wipers are needed, the headlights should also be on.