Heavy downpours make travel treacherous for Labor Day weekend

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Heavy rains made for some treacherous travel Friday morning. There were lots of wrecks, and flash flooding shut down some roadways.

More people will be headed out on the highways as the day progresses, as many folks have getaways for Labor Day weekend already planned.

Heavy downpours shut down highway ramps and other roadways Friday morning because fast rising waters simply made them impassable. First responders were busy with plenty of reports of vehicles sliding off the pavement.

With more big downpours in the forecast for the weekend, the highway patrol wants drivers to be alert for rapidly changing conditions.

“Just with the rain we had could cause some flash flooding,” said Sgt. Bill Lowe, of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. “Once it gets over the roadway and you are driving too fast, it’s too late. You have to make sure that you are looking ahead of your travels and making sure that the roadway is clear and safe to go over.”

Lowe says it only takes about four or five inches of water to move a vehicle. Too often drivers think they can get through high water safely. But the best advice usually is: turn around, don’t drown.

The patrol also said it’s important to wear your seat belt when you’re likely to be traveling around other drivers who may not be taking precautions during rainstorms. Be aware of what’s around you and put the phone down.

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