A day after flash flooding in Mosby, Mo., prompted the evacuation of most of its residents, the locals wanted answers as to how quickly the Fishing River jumped out of its banks.
Some said they had never seen it climb so fast.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Monday visited areas of town where the flood tore asphalt from the roadway. He said damage assessments may take several days. Nixon hesitated to predict whether areas around the state were damaged enough to qualify for federal disaster relief.
Nixon said a total of 10 tornadoes struck Missouri counties over the weekend, though no injuries or deaths were reported.
He said the decision early Sunday of local leaders to begin a voluntary evacuation of Mosby, population 190, may have prevented injuries. About two-thirds of the residents left their homes, and some families remained displaced Monday.
About 35 of the town’s 74 homes sustained high water, said Sgt. Jason Lininger of the Mosby Police Department.
“At one point the water rose 4 feet in just an hour,” Lininger said.
Kent Kavanaugh, who has lived in Mosby about six years, said he had never seen a river climb as quickly as the Fishing River rose early Sunday.
“At 7 a.m., we had about 8 inches of water covering the streets,” Kavanaugh said. “At 7:30, it was up the wheel wells of my car and about 7:37 the water was up over the car doors.
“This thing came up so fast and we have to figure out why that is.”
In less than eight hours, the river climbed about 22 feet, officials said.
“We got lucky this time,” said Jason Stooksbury, a town council member. “They all got out.”