After several periods of heavy rain across the state, the Missouri Department of Transportation cautions motorists that many state routes are closed due to flooding.
As of Thursday afternoon, April 18, 286 road closures are posted on the department's Traveler Information Map, located at www.modot.org. The majority of flooded roadways are in the northern half of the state, and most are lettered and numbered routes with low traffic volumes. There are three major routes currently closed:
· Eastbound U.S. 36, near Shelbina
· U.S. 24, both directions, near Huntsville in Randolph County
· U.S. 61 near Alexandria, near the Iowa State line
"MoDOT crews are closely monitoring roadways and are prepared for more temporary closures as the rivers across the state continue to rise," said Beth Wright, MoDOT State Maintenance Engineer. "We encourage travelers to visit our Traveler Information Map before hitting the road to check the latest road conditions and closures."
MoDOT offers the following driving tips that can help avoid delays and unsafe conditions during the rainy spring season:
· Slow down, use caution, and don't use cruise control when driving in rain to avoid skidding and hydroplaning. Leave plenty of following distance.
· Never move or drive around barricades placed on roadways due to high water. Barricades are a warning designed to protect you from an unsafe condition. You can put yourself at serious risk if you proceed into a flooded section of road.
· If a road is closed, find another route.
· If a road is covered in flood water but is not closed by a barricade, do NOT drive into the high water. Stop and turn around. Notify the police, sheriff or the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
· When windshield wipers are needed, turn on your headlights. It's the law.
· "Turn Around – Don't Drown" as highways become impassable. MoDOT crews will open roads after the water recedes and routes are cleared for safe travel. For more information, visit www.modot.org or contact the MoDOT Customer Service Center at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636).