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County emergency manager says flood waters dropping, lists closed roads

PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (April 29, 2011) — Flood waters continue to decline in Pulaski County, though the Springfield office of the National Weather Service still has two active flood warnings for the area. Pulaski County Emergency Management Director Lawson Smith announced Friday morning that he’s deactivated the county’s emergency operations center and sent home Missouri National Guard troops since their help is no longer needed.

Smith said no injuries or significant damage has yet been reported due to the flooding; the emergency operations center was activated at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday with Missouri National Guard personnel using two humvees activated to assist the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department; the Guardsmen were released late Wednesday night.

The two active flood warnings are for the Big Piney River at Fort Leonard Wood and the Gasconade River at Jerome, according to National Weather Service officials, who said the Big Piney was at 14.2 feet — 1.2 feet above flood stage — as of 7 a.m. Friday. Weather officials expect the river to drop below flood stage by early Sunday afternoon. Flood waters affect the lower part of Training Area 250 on Fort Leonard Wood at 15 feet, according to the flood impact report.

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation traveler information map, which can be found at this link http://maps.modot.mo.gov/timi/ both Highway 17 between Waynesville and Crocker and Highway J between Interstate 44 Exit 169 and Fort Leonard Wood’s East Gate are open. No state roads are reported closed in Pulaski County.

County roads are in significantly worse condition, however, according to Smith’s report.

In the Eastern District of Pulaski County, the Big Piney River had dropped to 9.57 feet as of 7 a.m. Friday at a civilian observation station in Devil’s Elbow, which had earlier reached a maximum of 11.6 feet and closed Trophy Lane in that community.

Other Eastern District road closures include Hartford Road off Highway 28; Cave Road and the Riddle Bridge over the Gasconade River between Highway O to Dixon and Highway Y to St. Robert; Camp Road at Highway 28; Cliff Road off Highway PP and Highway 28, though it’s still open to the campground entrance two miles off the main road; and Compass Road off Cliff Road near Highway PP and Highway 28.

In the Western District of Pulaski County, the Gasconade River at Hazelgreen had dropped to 13.89 feet as of 6:15 a.m. Friday, having crested at a maximum height of 29.83 feet at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Western District road closures include Spring Road off Highway AB near Interstate 44 Exit 145, which has been closed from the Gasconade River to Highway K.

In the city of Waynesville, the city RV park was evacuated on Sunday and the main city park also flooded. The Roubidoux Creek is still out of its banks at 11.5 feet but water levels are falling.

While no more rain is expected until Saturday afternoon, water levels could rise beginning with multiple rounds of thunderstorms, some possibly strong to severe, which National Weather Service officials say creates the highest potential for additional flooding south of a line from Cassville to Salem.

“The coverage of thunderstorms remains unclear at this time as a layer of warm air aloft will tend to suppress thunderstorm development for much of the day,” according to National Weather Service reports which also indicate a primary risk of large hail and damaging winds.

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