Wednesday morning dawned with everything nearby thoroughly soaked. I-44 in both directions continues to be closed for 20 some miles West of St Louis. The town of Pacific (and others) is underwater for the second time in less than ten years. This morning they closed I-55 in both directions as the Merrimec River threatened a bridge. Our route South — US-67 is closed at Pocahontas where there are at least 3 levee breeches and the river’s abundance has settled in upon the low lying farmlands.
You can see how much water is on the road by the height of the water on the stop sign above.
Our route plan had us driving over this road…. not going to happen today. I found these three news photos and decided they were the best way to share the nature of Momma Natures hissy fit in the Missouri/Arkansas area.
The experience — one of the few times we have actually had to alter our travel plans mid-trip — highlights the importance of careful planning when you’re RV’ing or just traveling. Fortunately we had options in mind, but I still used my standard research tools. With over 5 inches of rain in the last week you have to know that there are going to be travel repercussions!
If you do not know, pretty much every state that I’m aware of has a Department of Transportation website and they all have travelers aid maps showing current road conditions, including road closures.
These websites are absolutely essential to travelers if you want to avoid miles and miles of detours when unexpected events take place — and what weather events are ever “expected” ?
For us, in this instance, access to websites, TV weather reports, and local residents saved us at least another extra hundred miles travel — even though we put on extra miles taking our alternate route. We still had to travel in the rain — about 1/2 of the day’s 300 miles drive was wet and hazardous — but the other 1/2 was ok and we arrived at a replacement hotel before dark.