Third vehicle water rescue completed in Butler County, as flooded roads hamper emergency response

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Butler County officials say they completed a third vehicle water rescue shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday and were responding at that time to vehicle accident, while ongoing flooding hampered attempts to respond to calls for assistance.

A flood warning was issued Saturday morning for the area after heavy rainfall overnight and Friday. Officials say there are currently flooded highways in the areas of county roads 373, 321 and 340, and Batson Mini Farms.

Officials strongly urge residents not to attempt to drive through areas where water is over the road.

The Black River was initially expected to crest at 16.5 feet at Poplar Bluff by early Saturday evening and begin dropping again by midnight, according to a National Weather Service announcement around noon Saturday. Flood stage is 16 feet.

Water is continuing to rise at this time and the river is now expected to crest near 17.5 feet by midnight, according to the NWS. It is expected to drop back below flood stage by early Sunday afternoon.

No injuries have been reported but first responders have had to rescue residents from vehicles stranded in floodwaters three times this evening, said Butler County Fire Chief Bob Fredwell. Those rescues were in the areas of county roads 373, 321 and 340.

As of approximately 11 p.m. first responders were also on the scene of a vehicle accident involving a tree, which required extrication.

There were also reports that flooded roads were hampering ambulance crews attempts to respond to a call for assistance.

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