Highway Patrol is prepping for flood effects going into Memorial Day weekend
LAKE OF THE OZARKS -- Missouri State Highway Patrol is all hands on deck monitoring the severe weather effects that may continue into Memorial Day weekend.
Sergeant Scott White said MSHP made plans for flash flooding affecting both drivers on the road and boaters at Lake of the Ozarks.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol said Memorial Day is also an unofficial start to boating season and boaters should stay aware of their surroundings at all times.
"The biggest problem with high water levels at Lake of the Ozarks is debris," White said. "You get a lot of those tree trunks and logs that float from those inner coves."
Last year, Highway Patrol reported to 14 boating crashes at Lake of the Ozarks, which included 10 injuries and one death.
"If you're out there in the water make sure you have a proper lookout, not only for other vessels, but also for debris as well."
According to a press release, two people drowned and 17 were arrested for driving while intoxicated during the 2018 Memorial Day weekend.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol: Water Patrol Division website offers the Boating Laws and Responsibilities handbook which details steps to take if boaters are caught in severe weather or flash floods.
Highway Patrol suggests boaters always wear a life jacket and obey the law regarding how to safely operate water vehicles and being aware of no wake zones.
Sgt. White said he suggested for travelers to give themselves plenty of time to make it to their destination for the holiday weekend and to check the MODOT traveler map for possible blocked roadways from flooding.
Missouri State Highway Patrol said if motorists or boaters need any form of assistance or wish to report a crime during the holiday weekend, they should call the Highway Patrol's Emergency Assistance number (1-800-525-5555) or *55 on a cell phone.