WARRENSBURG, Mo. — High water made it too dangerous for drivers to pass near 50 Highway and 217th Street, and authorities closed down the highway Thursday morning, making travel from Kansas City into Warrensburg impossible via 50 Highway.
The highway was expected to be closed for about two hours, hopefully reopening at about noon, but until then, drivers headed east toward Warrensburg and other towns along 50 Highway need to find an alternate route.
At the University of Central Missouri, the bookstore closed because water covered part of the floor from the rapid rainfall. Students report the carpet and tile flooring is soaking wet. University officials reportedly closed the area to prevent injury from anyone slipping on the floor. Students needing to get into the bookstore where they receive ‘scantrons’ or bubble sheets for exams are being allowed in one-by-one.
Additionally, emergency crews rescued a few motorists after storms pushed across western Missouri, forcing creeks out of their banks.
The National Weather Service issued flash flood watches for much of Missouri on Thursday and said areas along Interstate 70 received up to 6 inches of rain in the last three days.
Missouri State Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Collin Stosberg said no injuries were reported, but two sections of U.S. 50 in Johnson County closed because of flooding.
Johnson County crews rescued a woman early Thursday after she became stranded in her vehicle by rising water. Three rescuers also needed help after their jet skis became clogged with debris and were disabled. Pettis County crews also rescued a man whose vehicle was swept into a field at a waterway crossing.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency, in light of the flooding and the tornado in the suburban St. Louis town of University City.
Nixon activated the State Emergency Operations Center and the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan, which allows state agencies to coordinate with local jurisdictions for emergency services.
No injuries were reported in University City, but several homes were damaged by the twister that touched down at 5:23 a.m. For more on the tornado in University City, click here for coverage from our sister station, KTVI in St. Louis.
Additionally, Crestridge R-7 is dismissing at 11:30 due to high flood waters.
Thursday closures included:
Mo. 23 Hwy between County Roads NE 950
NE 1125 Route E between Route MM and Route CC
Eastbound U.S. 50 at NW 151st
Westbound U.S. 50 at Business 50 Both highways are located in Johnson County, Mo.
For more information about all flooded state highways in your area, call 1-888-275-6636. Or to see a complete, updated list of flooded state highways throughout the day, go online to MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map at http://maps.modot.mo.gov/travelerinformation/TravelerInformation.aspx.