Flood Awareness Week

JOPLIN, MO.— According to the Jasper County Emergency Management Director, flooding kills more people worldwide than any other weather event. Just six inches of running water is capable of knocking a person over or even a small car.

“If you can’t see your wheel, then you’re probably in it too deep. You know, you need to back out or not go in it,” said Bill Cottrill, owner of Cottrill Towing.

“The biggest thing we have to worry about with regards to flooding is low water bridges. The main thing to remember here is ‘turn around don’t drown,” said Keith Stammer, Jasper County Emergency Management Director.

Stammer points out that not all flooding or flash flooding is the same.

“In the rural areas, fields can become saturated and then what you have is what’s called aerial flooding. Where the water just runs off the field and into the roads. In the urban setting, we have a lot of concrete and pavement, and of course there’s no place for that water to go expect for down hill. And that causes its own set of problems,” said Stammer. The City of Joplin has had a history of flooding in locations such as the low water crossing on Northwest Murphy Boulevard or the intersection of 7th and Illinois. The good news about this year is the city has constructed the storm water retention pond along Murphy Boulevard from 15th to 20th. And with the relatively dry winter, there’s plenty of room for the soil to soak up water. But that still doesn’t mean we’re not at risk.

“If it is a fast rain, even areas that are dry, and areas that are already pre-soaked will tend to run that water off and into the streams,” said Stammer.

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