WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (AP) - The water has gone down but the need for volunteers to clean up damaged homes remains high in a south-central Missouri county swamped by last month's floods.
The Pulaski County town of Waynesville was among the hardest hit amid several days of heavy rain in early August.
Isabel Lambert is the volunteer coordinator for the county's Community Organizations Active in Disaster, or COAD. COADs are public-private partnerships that respond to disasters.
Lambert said Thursday that more than 230 homes in the Waynesville still have mold, ruined drywall and other problems. She's seeking volunteers to gather at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday and again Wednesday through Saturday for the next two weeks at Waynesville City Park to help with cleanup.
For more information, send email to the Pulaski County COAD: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 573-337-2286.
The Humane Society of Missouri's disaster response team in St. Louis is being called into action because of flooding in south central Missouri. A four-member team has taken a large animal rescue trailer to Waynesville to house up to 100 pets whose owners have nowhere to keep them until the flood waters recede.
The St. Louis shelter will also accept 15 dogs from the Waynesville shelter to make room for local pets displaced by flooding. The dogs will be made available for adoption in St. Louis.
Flooding closed Interstate 44 at mile marker 172 near the city of Jerome early Wednesday morning. As of Wednesday night it was still closed, but MoDOT officials say it could reopen Thursday morning.
In addition, Missouri Route 63 is now closed in two locations - south of Vienna in Maries County and at Westphalia in Osage County - further complicating detour routes.
Motorists are encouraged to use U.S. 60, I-70 or U.S. 36 as alternate routes. This is especially important for commercial motor vehicle traffic approaching Missouri from other states.
Motorists traveling on Route 63 to destinations south of Vienna should take U.S. 50 to Route 28 to U.S. 63. Those traveling to areas north of Vienna should use Routes U and E to get around the closure.
National Weather Service predictions indicate water will overtake the lanes of U.S. 50 at Mount Sterling by mid-morning on Thursday, making travel in the area even more difficult.
“We don’t know for certain when flooded roadways will reopen or what additional flooding might occur,” said Travis Koestner, assistant district engineer of MoDOT’s Central District. “We appreciate motorists' patience as we monitor these roadways and ask motorists not to drive around barricades or attempt to drive through water.”
When the water recedes, MoDOT will inspect pavement and bridges for safety before opening highways for public use.