MoDOT stressing safety after drivers ignore closure

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HOWARD COUNTY - Drivers in Howard County can't remember a flooding season this bad since the 90s.

"'93 and '97, particularly around Fayette, Glasgow and Boonville were pretty horrible," Dan Bowman from Fayette said. "The snow is definitely to blame."

Highway 87 north of Boonville has been closed since Monday, but that hasn't stopped drivers from using this section of the road.

"It happens often, way too often," said Mike Schupp, Missouri Department of Transportation engineer for central Missouri.

Missouri River flooding has been impacting residents and closing roads since the start of March. Schupp knows it can be tempting to try your luck with a closed road, but he hopes people stop bypassing barriers.

"They're there for a reason, they're there for your safety and they're there for the next guys' safety," Schupp said.

While rogue drivers are giving some in Howard County a bad rap, there's plenty of people who agree with Schupp.

"I'm hoping most people take some heed when they see that water. There are some that are in such a hurry that they don't," Bowman said.

While Bowman admits weather is to blame, he thinks elevating and updating some of the roads could spare headaches in the future.

"All the bridges and roads in Missouri need more work," Bowman said.

"Six to 12 inches of water can certainly carry a car if it's swift moving. I've watched it happen," Bob Martin, a former trucker, said.

"It's better to have an inconvenience than to drown and need a replacement car," Martin said.

Martin knows MoDOT has people's best interests in mind when they close a road.

"They don't generally close a road unless there's a good reason to do so," Martin said. "Tell them 'carry on'. Keep up the good work."

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