Authorities said more than a dozen people had to be rescued from vehicles that were stranded after driving into areas where flash flooding occurred Friday evening in and around Jefferson City.
Jefferson City Fire Department Chief Matt Schofield said his department stayed busy for several hours working to get people out of vehicles on Stadium Boulevard, West Stadium Boulevard, West Edgewood Drive and assisted in getting people out on Ravenwood Drive in Apache Flats.
"People need to make smart choices and not drive through high water," Schofield said.
Jefferson City Public Works crews were also kept busy putting up barriers to try and block off flooded areas. This included the area around the Washington Park Ice Arena after the heavy rains caused Wears Creek to rapidly rise.
The worst of the power outages occurred in the area of Green Berry Road and Payne Drive where Ameren Missouri reported more than 3,100 customers lost power just before 8:30 p.m. Around that same time, more than 1,300 Ameren customers lost power in the area of Route C and Lakewood Court.
Jefferson City Public Works Director Matt Morasch said crews worked overnight to close, clean and open roads around the city in response to the flash flooding.
Morasch said wastewater crews are checking manholes throughout the city and addressing service calls as they come in. He said he would be most concerned about additional flash flooding if the area gets heavy rain in a short amount of time.
"We always have people on call anyway, but they were obviously very busy," Morasch said. "We're still watching this forecast to see if it actually materializes or not but if we get more heavy rains it could mean more flash flooding."
Morasch said the flash flooding has been widespread throughout Jefferson City, with water on roadways being reported in west, central and east areas of the city.
Morasch said all public safety crews were on notice Saturday so they could be called back in the event more work is required overnight into today. He said the schedule is fairly similar to how the department would handle a snow storm.
Ben Herzog, meteorologist from the National Weather Service, said more showers were expected Saturday afternoon into the evening, and additional rain isn't helpful with ongoing flooding issues in the region.
"It's hard to say that there's any good news about that, but if I had to pick something it's the fact that these storms don't look like they'll be quite as widespread as what we saw the last few nights," Herzog said. "So that means that some areas will very likely see storms, but I don't think everybody will. Anywhere that does see storms, obviously, is going to further worsen any flooding issues that are ongoing."
Herzog said it's difficult to predict exactly where the storms will occur, but the areas directly under them should expect 1-2 inches of rain within roughly an hour, whereas other areas could see nothing.
Morasch said crews also helped the levy district to close the gap in the levy — closing the road as well — near the airport in anticipation of rising Missouri River levels.
The Missouri River is currently at 25.3 feet, which is in the moderate flood stage of 25-30 feet.
Morasch said parts of the airport have been elevated off the flood plains since the last flood a few years ago, so the City will not have to evacuate as it did in years past. Private hangers, however, might make the decision to move airplanes or equipment, he said.
NWS meteorologist Mark Fuchs said it looks like this flood will barely stay below the major flood stage of 30 feet. The forecast crest is at 29.9 feet for Monday morning, Fuchs said.
Fuchs said with more rain in the forecast, predictions for the Missouri River levels could change as it only incorporates rain for the next 24 hours and anything beyond that is unpredictable. He said he doesn't expect any additional rainfall to affect the crest much if at all because the amount is less than the amount dropped over the last few days.
This article was updated after initial publication with additional information.