One missing in Bollinger County

Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Flooding outside a Marble Hill-area home taken by a Southeast Missourian reader. (Marian Hutchings)

One person is missing in Bollinger County after a pick up truck was swept by the flood into Crooked Creek, near Woodland School, at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to Bollinger County chief deputy sheriff Leo McElrath.

A search could not immediately be conducted due to the rising floodwaters, which were estimated to be about 8 or 10 feet above where the truck went off the road. The truck is not even visible, McElrath said.

Flash flooding inundated the towns of Glen Allen and Marble Hill all day Tuesday. McElrath described Marble Hill as "cut in half" by flooding on Crooked Creek.

Schools were closed, businesses shut down and campgrounds along the Castor River were evacuated, McElrath said.

"We've had a lot of water," McElrath said. "We are trying to rescue people from their homes."

McElrath said another vehicle went into the water at the same location and the drivers had to be rescued by conservation officers that were close to the vicinity. He said this was after the truck was swept away and after the road was barricaded.

McElrath said throughout the day people attempted to drive through the high water, despite road barricades.

"In situations like this we wish people would use more caution, heed the warnings and understand the power of rushing water," he said. "A vehicle is no match for this rushing water."

The emergency management office of Bollinger County was activated and state agencies have sent crews to assist the county, McElrath said. "The highway patrol sent help, the water patrol sent help, the conservation department is here and the emergency management director is on duty. We are just using everybody available."

The flooding is widespread across much of Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois, the National Weather Service said in a statement issued shortly before 9 a.m.

"This is an extremely dangerous situation," the weather service reported Tuesday. "Two to 4 inches of rain has already fallen across portions of the flood warning area. Another 2 to 4 inches of rain is expected for the rest of the day into early tonight."

In Jackson, police are dealing with street flooding and, at one point, an officer rescued a dog on East Jefferson Street that was surrounded by rising water and leashed in its yard, said Capt. Randy Davis of the Jackson Fire Department.

Cape Girardeau fire crews have sent boats to rescue the occupants of two cars trapped in rising water on Route PP south of Delta. Crews also were sent to remove the occupants of a car that became stranded on Hopper Road when the driver went around a barricade, the department reported.

Numerous roads in Cape Girardeau County were closed by high water, a dispatcher with the Sheriff's Department said.

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