Missourians should take safety precautions if more record heavy rains fall across the state

 Missourians should take safety precautions if more record heavy rains fall across the state

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missourians should take safety precautions as additional heavy rains across the state may result in severe flooding like the destructive floods of 1993 and 1995, said a University of Missouri Extension emergency management specialist.

“Missourians should be prepared for flash flooding, river flooding, possible tornadoes and damaging hail,” said Eric Evans. “Now would be a good time to remind everyone of severe weather plans and tornado shelters in your location.”

Since March 1, 10-15 inches of rain have fallen in virtually every county southeast of I-44, and this is on top of above-normal precipitation over Missouri in December and February, said Pat Guinan, MU Extension climatologist.

Several locations in southern Missouri have experienced their wettest March on record. Preliminary numbers indicate the past four months will rank as one of the wettest December-through-March periods since 1895, he said.

Currently, the wettest December-through-March period was 1972-73, another flood year, when average statewide precipitation was 16.17 inches, he said.

“Parts of southern Missouri have received that much in March alone. Another significant precipitation event is anticipated this week, which will exacerbate the situation,” he said.

For an extensive list of online resources on preparing, coping and recovering from floods and flash floods, see http://extension.missouri.edu/cemp/flood.html.