PACIFIC, Mo. – A driver drove into a flooded road in Pacific, Missouri, Monday morning and got stuck. Pacific Fire Protection District firefighters had to help them out of the car and back to safety.
“We had a vehicle that drove around a barricade that was trying to block the roadway from some flooded roads,” said Cpl. Dallas Thompson with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. “The vehicle proceeded through the flooded waters and became disabled.”
The fire department was able to rescue a father and his son with a backpack from the car. It looked like they were on their way to school.
“Very dangerous,” Thompson said. “It takes less than a foot of water to actually move a vehicle off the highway. And whenever your vehicle gets swept off the roadway, it’s probably going to go into some deeper water, because there are ditches along the edge of the roadway. Once you get into that deeper water, that’s where things get really dangerous. They continue pulling your vehicle downstream, and the water is filling up inside your vehicle. So that’s when the chances of drowning really increase.”
Authorities said that if a person drives around a barricade, they are likely to get a ticket for not obeying a traffic control device and have to go to court.
Officials believed there might still be roads with water over the pavement.
“The waters are starting to recede, especially in a lot of the smaller creeks and streams running into the Meramec River here,” Thompson said. “But all that water from the smaller creeks and streams had to go somewhere. It all goes into the bigger Meramec River, and that causes the floodwaters to increase there.”
After Friday’s massive rainfall in the St. Louis region, floodwaters topped the banks of the Meramec River. Authorities are repeating the phrase “turn around, don’t drown” when drivers see water on the road.
“It’s very imperative that people take the warnings and obey those signs of the barricaded roadways and roads closed,” Thompson said. “Do not drive around and attempt to drive through the flooded waters.”