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News Release

March 21, 2019

Students, employees urged to take precautions amid flooding


Northwest Missouri State University urges its community to take precautions as the University heads into its spring break week and students and employees make travel plans amid widespread flooding affecting the region.

As a result of flooding, Interstate 29 is closed from mile marker 57, just north of St. Joseph, Missouri, and the Interstate 229 and U.S. 71 intersection to Council Bluffs, Iowa, until further notice. In addition, all Missouri River bridge crossings between St. Joseph and the area of Council Bluffs and Omaha, Nebraska, are closed. The Missouri Department of Transportation urges motorists to detour to I-35, although heavy truck traffic has been reported on the two-lane portion of U.S. Highway 71 north of Maryville.

The flooding is expected to continue for several days and present challenges for Northwest students and employees traveling to and from Maryville. The Northwest community is encouraged to monitor Department of Transportation agency websites and social media as well as local media outlets for updates related to road conditions.

Northwest Facility Services provided assistance this week to Holt County by loading and transporting wood pallets to be used in transporting sand bags.

“I know, for many of us, our hearts are heavy this week as we’ve traveled through impacted areas, watched video clips and read about the devastating flooding affecting Nebraska, Iowa and our corner of the world in Missouri,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski wrote in a message to employees today. “Please know our admissions team has reached out to accepted students potentially impacted by the floods, a variety of groups are seeking and providing support to current students, and we are monitoring and discussing other ways we can assist and offer support.”

 

Residence halls open to on-campus students

Northwest has waived its spring break housing fees for students whose homes and travel routes are directly affected by flooding, allowing those students to stay in their campus residence halls for free during the week. 

Students who wish to request a housing waiver for the week should email Scott Shields, assistant director of operations, at sshield@nwmissouri.edu with their name, 919 number, home address and a summary of their situation.

 

Flood precautions

Floods can occur anywhere, with floodwaters rising gradually or flash floods striking suddenly. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, flash floods are the No. 1 weather-related killer in the United States with most flood fatalities occurring when people attempt to drive through powerful waters that overtake their vehicles.

Follow the tips below to stay safe in your car during a flood.

  • Pay attention to barricades. Don't ignore them by driving past them.

  • Do not drive through standing water on roads or in parking lots. The average automobile can be swept off the road in 12 inches of moving water, and roads covered by water are prone to collapse. Attempting to drive through water also may stall your engine, with the potential to cause irreparable damage if you try to restart it. If you come upon a flooded street, take an alternate route.

  • Take extra precautions if you're forced to drive through water. If no alternate route exists and you have no other reasonable alternative but to drive through standing water, do your best to estimate the depth of the water. If other cars are driving through, take note of the water’s depth. Drive slowly and steadily through the water.

  • Avoid driving in water where electrical or power lines have fallen. Electric currents pass through water easily.

  • Watch for items traveling downstream. They can trap or crush you if you’re in their path.

  • If you have driven through water up to the wheel rims or higher, test your brakes on a clear patch of road at low speed. If they are wet and not stopping the vehicle as they should, dry them by pressing gently on the brake pedal with your left foot while maintaining speed with your right foot.

  • If your vehicle stalls in deep water, you may need to restart the engine to make it to safety. Keep in mind that restarting may cause irreparable damage to the engine.

  • Stay off the telephone unless you must report severe injuries.

  • If you can't restart your vehicle and you become trapped in rising water, immediately abandon it for higher ground. Try to open the door or roll down the window to get out of the vehicle. If you are unable to get out safely, call 911 or get the attention of a passerby or someone standing on higher ground so they may call for help.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468