Flooding hits McDonald County, lightning strikes up gas fire in Anderson

Flooding hits McDonald County, lightning strikes up gas fire in Anderson
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Flood waters in McDonald County practically closed down Anderson, Missouri where floods destroyed a bridge downtown, cutting off Main Street. Washed out culverts and high water left roads impassible.

The storm came with lightning which caused a gas fire around 7:30 a.m., forcing a frantic family to flee in the rain…

The Wooten family woke up to a nightmare when early morning storms blew in with a bang.

“There was a big clap of thunder at the same time as lightning and it was one of those that you could just feel it, and me and my husband was just like, that was big,” exclaimed Emily Wooten.

Wooten’s husband went downstairs to investigate, hitting a wall of fire where lightning had struck the home’s gas meter, causing a widespread leak.

“He opened the door and saw about 6-foot flames jumping from our gas meter right by our porch.”

The Wooten’s called 911 and fled shoeless with their two young girls as firefighters and gas line workers tamed the flames and fixed the leak after several hours.

“They were out here just getting soaked and taking care of us…and taking care of this, and they were here in no time…like they were here as fast as they could be, and we’re just really thankful for them,” said Wooten.

In addition to dealing with the gas leak, Anderson officials have performed over a dozen water rescues, and more calls keep coming in. The Anderson Fire Chief urges drivers to use caution.

“Anderson’s kinda been cut in half by the water. Some of the roads just recently opened back up because the water is starting to recede, but then we’ve got several roads that have washed completely out too,” explained David Abbott, Anderson Fire Chief.

Along Indian Creek, a home was swept completely away, leaving behind a foundation quickly filling with water. The man and his dog are okay and, so far, everyone is safe, but longtime locals say they’ve never seen the water this high.

“I’ve been living here my whole life, about 27 years, and I really haven’t seen it this bad. It’s probably the worst. Last year was pretty bad, but not as bad as this year,” said Michael Krier, a long-time resident.

The Wooten’s are just thankful it isn’t worse.

“We have just been praying non-stop. We’ve had people praying for us non-stop, and I can just tell that God is keeping that fire from just swallowing it up because it could’ve gone up just like that…and so we’re just giving glory to God right now.”

Power outages are also plaguing Anderson, even as waters begin to recede.