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Turn Around, Don't Drown Campaign

The "Turn Around, Don't Drown" campaign is a reminder of just how little rushing water it takes to sweep you or your car away.
JOPLIN, MO.--- Joe Butler was out driving through Kellogg Lake Park Thursday morning.

"If it gets too bad, I won't go through it," said Joe Butler, Carthage Resident. 

There's areas of Carthage he avoids if there's a threat for flooding.

"There's a lot of bridges I would avoid," he said. 

"You can see with the watches that are out," said Keith Stammer, Jasper County Emergency Manager

Jasper County Emergency Manager Keith Stammer says a major portion of the county's flooding is low water crossing.

"Anytime there is a flash flood warning in Jasper County, and even north of us in Barton and Vernon County, always pay attention to the local rivers. It's very easy for the low water crossings to flash and to overflow," said Stammer. 

A national campaign to warn people of the hazards of walking or driving through flood waters is the "Turn Around, Don't Drown" campaign.

"The thing about Turn Around, Don't Drown is to remind people that you don't need to go across that low water bridge," said Stammer. 

Just six inches of water is all it takes to knock over an adult, and just two feet of water to carry away most vehicles. Stammer says the biggest concern for flooding usually happens this time of year.

"There's a real tendency here that says you've crossed a low water crossing say a thousand times. That one time where there's water there, it's going to be ok, don't forget you can't see under the water, you don't know if that bridge is still there or not," he said. 

Butler has advice for other drivers attempting to cross through water.

"Play it safe, don't go through," said Butler. 

Stammer adds that if you drive through Joplin when there's a flash flood warning, pay attention to the low water crossings on Murphy Boulevard and North Main Street.
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