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Flooding impacts on emergency response

Although rain started moving out of mid-Missouri Wednesday night, multiple roads in Boone County remained closed due to flooding.

ABC 17 News checked in with emergency responders to see if the road conditions were impacting response times.

It’s an issue that luckily emergency crews haven’t had to face this week despite all the rain.

Both city and county fire have protocol in place for when flooding becomes an issue that affects response.

“When we have flooding issues like this, or we have a water rescue, we always dispatch units to come at it from two different directions,” said Battalion Chief Gale Blomenkamp with the Boone County Fire Protection District.

He said his crews are prepared if more roads are closed due to flooding.

And it’s a similar story for the Columbia Fire Department.

“Road construction, weather, traffic…All these things can have significant impact on response times so it’s up to our crews to know how to get where they need to go quickly,” said Assistant Chief Brad Fraizer with the Columbia Fire Department.

Both city and county said they have communication plans in place for events like these.

Blomenkamp said a lot of the volunteers in his department can get to the scene quickly and radio to the units en route if they need to take a different way to get to the scene.

“There are delays based on flooded roadways,” Blomenkamp said. “It’s not’ always the straightest route to any location because we have to go around flooded roadways, but we do try to approach it from the two directions so we can get help there the quickest way possible.”

“Last minute changes in the road conditions can cause delays navigating around to find new routes, so it’s a big deal,” Fraizer said.

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