Rescue crews pulled a man from Flat Branch Creek Saturday morning in downtown Columbia as the second day of heavy rain hit the area, filling creeks and reversing the downward trend of flood-swollen Missouri River.
Crews were called to Flat Branch Park just before 8:40 a.m. during a storm that dropped about an inch of rain on central parts of the city between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings early Saturday that covered all or parts of 10 counties in central and north-central Missouri, including Boone, Audrain, Callway, Cole and Moniteau counties.
The weather service reported two to three inches of rain had fallen throughout the region and more heavy rain was expected. More than 1.5 inches of rain fell Saturday morning at Columbia Regional Airport. The forecast for Sunday said to expect storms during the day and overnight to Monday, with only a small chance of rain for the remainder of the week.
Boone County Emergency Management issued eight warnings about water covered roads, mainly in northeast Columbia near the Lake of the Woods area, between 9:19 a.m. and 9:32 a.m.
The man swept away in Flat Branch Creek was in his mid- to late 20s and he was rescued without injury, Division Chief Clayton Farr of the Columbia Fire Department.
Assisted by the Columbia Police Department and the University of Missouri Police Department, rescue workers put a boat onto the narrow waterway and crews in suits to protect them from exposure in the cold water to pull the man from the stream, Farr said.
“We don’t have any idea how the person may have gotten to where they were, but certainly in a normal, non-flood situation that could be a walkable path but I am not certain how he got into the water,” Farr said.
The rains Saturday morning added more water to streams that were draining away the nearly 1.6 inches of rain that fell in central Columbia on Friday. Weather service radar indicated that 2 to 6 inches of rain had fallen across much of northern and central Missouri since early Friday.
The Missouri River, which had been falling along its entire length in central Missouri since reaching crests in late May, rose 1.24 feet at Boonville from its low point Friday and about a foot at Jefferson City. The river has been above flood stage, 21 feet on the Boonville gauge and 23 feet at Jefferson City, continuously since May 19.
At 1:30 p.m. Saturday, the river was at 25.93 feet at Boonville and 26.44 at Jefferson City. A forecast issued Saturday morning called for the river to rise about 2 feet in both locations by Tuesday before falling again.
Several major roads in the region remain closed for flooding or repairs due to flooding, including Highway 40 in southern Howard County, Highway 5 in Saline County west of Glasgow and Highway 94 in southern Callaway County.