Flash flooding closes roads around Springfield airport, Willard, Mo.

NEAR WILLARD, Mo. -- Several roads in the Willard, Mo. area are underwater because of flash flooding.

West Chestnut near I-44 was shut down with at least 4 feet of water at one point. Staff with the Greene County Highway Department say there were flooded spots they've never seen before. Crews closed West Division just east of West Bypass because of water over the road. They closed another spot just west of Springfield at Farm Road 140 and Farm Road 115, or Haseltine Road. The Wilson's Creek also rushed over roads near Rutledge Wilson Farm.

Many people ran into flooded roadways on their way to school or work, including Logan Vasquez.

"It was 5:45. I was headed to work at the Flying J. Didn't think there was that much water," says Vasquez. "The water meter was like at two feet, and I thought my truck set high enough I could get through it. I was sorely mistaken."

He got out okay. But his truck spent hours in the water. "By the end of it, you couldn't even see my truck. The water was up that high," says Vasquez.

Some didn't even make it out there driveways before running into flooding. The little Sac River and Creeks that feed it were all swollen out of their banks, trapping a father and daughter north of Willard.

"The branch that runs across my driveway was already over the drive, so that's normally my indication that I'm not driving out. And then it just kept climbing," says Levi Ramsey.

Ebenezer firefighters called in the Springfield water rescue team to get Ramsey and his five-year-old daughter, Valkyrie, to the other side.
Ramsay says it took three grown men to paddle against the current for about 30 or 40 ft. His daughter didn't seem to mind. "She's pretty fearless, a little five year old redhead," says Ramsey.

Many were showing their fearlessness, driving through water road crews would rather they not. "We are putting the barricades up for their protection," says Jeff Deckard, Greene County highway department western district supervisor. "Because you never know, in a situation like this, where you cannot see the road, it may be only 6 inches deep, 4 inches deep or so, but if you can't see the road because of the muddy water, there's no guarantee that that road may not have some damage that you can't see. You could fall into a hole. It's possible."

Greene County literally didn't have enough barricades to completely block every flooded road, and there were a lot. "I have no idea. We have flooded areas that we've not had before. I can tell you that," says Decakard.

Vasquez highly recommends playing it safe. "Don't push your luck. Don't push your luck," says Vasquez.

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