I want to take the time to thank all area and state law enforcement, first responders, EMS & Fire, MoDOT, Emergency Dispatch, and our communities for the hard work and help given during the recent flooding in Livingston County.
The closure of U.S. 65 was a major problem for many area residents but also a nightmare for people travelling through who are not familiar with the area. The floods damaged and destroyed many crops, pieces of machinery, and even several buildings or homes.
Many do not think about how law enforcement, fire, or EMS get around to help people cut off from the flooding. We plan ahead and area agencies and first responders are always more than willing to help when or where needed. Our office also has a deputy who lives near Dawn and we sent him home and assigned to be a primary responder 24/7 for any emergency south of the closure until U.S. 65 re-opened.
The MoDOT crews spent a significant amount of time dealing with the flooding, road closures, and the biggest nightmare being the closure of U.S. 65 and rerouting traffic on U.S. 36 for 2 lane only. The requirements to constantly monitor all these areas and equipment is way more time consuming than most realize. If you saw all the cones on U.S. 36 you probably saw several that had been knocked over. MoDOT continued going through the area to reset the cones for safety only to have Mother Nature or angry drivers knock them back down.
One morning I checked on one of the MoDOT employees staffing equipment for several hours and the man asked me if we could please work traffic out there. So many drivers were not paying attention, were speeding extremely fast, and several had struck cones. We addressed this when the limited time we had allowed.
Fortunately we made it through this incident without any significant accidents or rescues required. Please thank the MoDOT staff, law enforcement, first responders and EMS for all the work they do, very few realize just how dangerous the job or highways actually are.
We know there will be more events or problems in the future but through communication, training, and experience we hope to minimize any problems and maximize our abilities to help you.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the citizens who lost crops, equipment, or had their home damaged.