WARTBURG (WATE) - Heavy rains Monday caused rising water in Morgan County and prompted the closings of schools and a couple of roads.
A powerful waterfall could be seen pumping along Highway 62 near Petros. Residents say it's usually smaller and much more tranquil. It's just one sign that lots of rain fell quickly there.
"We just have to keep a watch and deal with it as we can," said Petit Lane homeowner Carol Armes. Her backyard was disappearing underwater Monday, as a swollen creek took over.
"It's pretty bad right now. It really is. I mean it's been quite a while before it's gotten up this big," Armes said.
She says she's used to water flowing from the creek onto Petit Lane, but admits with more rain in the forecast she's concerned about her home and daughter's hair salon in the basement. "I'm just hoping and praying it don't get much worse, up into my house or anything."
High water signs have become so common on Petit Lane that driver after driver risked it, rather than take the long way around.
That's the worst mistake you can make, according to Morgan County Emergency Management Director Jody Zorsch.
"If you see those high water signs, turn around," said Zorsch. "There is a saying for a reason, turn around don't drown because it doesn't take much water to float your car downstream."
Rising water prompted Morgan County administrators to close schools just after lunch to ensure bus drivers could get students home safely.
Armes' grandsons took the opportunity to have some fun in the high, chilly waters. The two boys slid in repeatedly.
Getting into flood waters is something else emergency responders say you shouldn't do. Flood waters are often filled with trash and other dangerous debris, plus stronger currents than most people realize.
"It is swift," said Zorsch. "It will take a fire truck. There's been instances of flooding where heavy equipment isn't any safer.