The Big Piney River west of Houston during the flooding.

Heavy rain began falling early Wednesday morning on already rain-soaked ground, sending streams out of their banks for the second straight day.

Houston officers closed Highway F (Walnut Street) in Houston at about 8 a.m., and water was rolling in ditches. 

A flash flood watch is in effect for Texas County until Friday as more precipitation is expected.

Additional traffic is being felt on U.S. 63 in Texas County after the closure of I-44 in Phelps County. Traffic is moving slow. Vehicles are being detoured from U.S. 60 to U.S. 63, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said. 

Floodwaters from the Gasconade River have caused a closure of all lanes on U.S. 63 south of Vienna in Maries County. U.S. 63 is also closed at Westphalia in Osage County.

Motorists and commercial motor carriers traveling on southbound U.S. 63 should use Route 50 to Route 28 at Rosebud then return to Route 63 near Vichy. Travelers northbound on Route 63 are asked to exit onto Route 28 through Owensville and then take Route 50 near Rosebud to get back on Route 63.

Gov. Jay Nixon cancelled a trip this morning to the region because emergency personnel are engaged in numerous operations. He is expected to visit Thursday.


Earlier: Heavy rain pounded the area early Tuesday sending streams wild, closing roads and low-water bridges and causing some structural damage.  Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency.

And the National Weather Service says more rainfall is expected this week on already-saturated ground after an abundance of wet weather.

Hard hit was northwest Texas County and neighboring Fort Wood area. The National Weather Service took the unusual step of declaring a flash flood emergency for those regions. At 4:30 a.m. an alert system was activated for users of cellular telephones to avoid flooded areas.

The Missouri Department of Transportation reported numerous closed highways due to high water. At one time, several were listed: Highway F (Walnut Street in Houston), Highway BB, Boiling Springs; East Highway 17 east of Houston, Highway U near Cabool, Highway M west of Cabool and Highway ZZ west of Houston.

And there were other problems in the county: The high water made for treacherous travel across the county. At Paddy Creek, the Roby Fire Department was called to aid stranded campers. U.S. Cellular service at Summersville was reported down and Fort Wood’s East Gate closed until further notice as record rainfall covered the area. In the Waynesville-St. Robert area, there was at least one fatality; a four-year-old child.

A trouble spot over the years, Brushy Creek at Highways B and U.S. 63 came back for a nasty return appearance. Water was reported in a café there. Witnesses said the stream rolled out of control quickly early Tuesday.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood emergency for Pulaski and northwest Texas County. It has been extended until 3 p.m. 

PDF: Red Cross flooding resources

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