4-year-old dies in flooding; Gov. Nixon declares state of emergency
WAYNESVILLE, MO (KTVI) – Divers from the Missouri Highway Patrol worked Tuesday afternoon hoping to recover the body of an adult believed swept away during a flash flood in Waynesville. Sgt. Dan Crain of the Patrol said a four year old boy was killed by the flood. The adult who had been with him was still missing as of 5pm.
Authorities believe the two were in a vehicle that was washed off a road by flooded Mitchell Creek Tuesday morning. The child’s body was recovered at 8am.
First responders worked through the night to rescue people trapped by the suddenly rising water. Most people were asleep when the creeks began rising. At one point a Pulaski County boat capsized and a Highway Patrol boat moved in rescuing seven people including the first set of rescuers.
Roubidoux Creek overflowed in the center of Waynesville. Dozens of floating and leaking propane tanks proved hazardous to crews. Pulaski County Sheriff deputy chief John Graves said at one point there was a dangerous one to two foot deep layer of L-P gas floating on the water’s surface.
Responders delayed rescue efforts until the gas dissipated. Groves said one spark from a boat engine could have caused a mass fire. Some Waynesville residents had to wait for help on top of their vehicles.
Waynesville ordered an overnight evacuation for low lying areas after forecasts showed more rain could deluge the area. Residents will be asked to stay away until 5pm Wednesday.
An estimated one hundred homes and businesses were damaged by the flood, fifty substantially. Some of the homes were being rented by soldiers stationed at Fort Leonard Wood.