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Columbia Fire performs water rescue in flooded street


Heavy downpours and high winds made their way through central Missouri Sunday, wreaking havoc on the roads. 

The Columbia Fire Department told ABC 17 that at 11:53 a.m. it performed a water rescue for a car that was trapped in flood water on Vandriver Drive. The car had water midway up its doors with three people trapped inside. Firefighters rescued the two adults and child with life vests. No injuries were reported but the car was towed.

“Unfortunately, when there is a period of heavy rain we do tend to do a number of water rescues, especially around roadways,” Jeffery Heidenreich, the assistant chief for the Columbia Fire Department said. “They typically involve people driving into flood water or fast-moving water. 

Around 1:30 p.m. visibility on U.S. 63 North was limited due to the downpour which caused several drivers to pull over along the side of the highway until the conditions cleared up. 

A car crash at North Highway 124 and East Eaden Lane forced Boone County to send out an alert telling people to avoid the area. 

The 300 block of East Brown School Road received approximately two feet of water, which flooded the street and created a traffic hazard. Officials advised drivers to avoid the area. 

The 2500 block of Vandiver Drive also saw flooding which prompted the Boone County Joint Communications to send out a traffic advisory. 

Slick roads are a factor in close to 1.2 million vehicle accidents every year, according to the Federal Highway Administration. 

In 2022, the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported 10,913 total crashes in rainy conditions. Fifty-three of those crashes were fatal. Over the last 10 years, Missouri is averaging 57.4 fatal crashes in the rain per year. 

To avoid accidents in the rain the American Automobile Association advised drivers to: 

  • Turn on the defroster and headlights for visibility
  • Leave extra room 
  • Slow down
  • Reduce the chances of hydroplaning by avoiding hard braking and sharp turns 
  •  Drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you.

 “Anytime there's water covering the roadway we absolutely insist that people do not drive through it and find an alternative route turn around don’t drown,” Heidenreich told ABC 17.

Article Topic Follows: Local News

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Mitchell Kaminski

Mitchell Kaminski is from Wheaton, Illinois. He earned a degree in sports communication and journalism from Bradley University. He has done radio play-by-play and co-hosts a Chicago White Sox podcast.


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