Butler County, Mo. – Thirteen people, three dogs and a parakeet were rescued by Conservation Agent Eric Heuring and Butler County Fire Department personnel Monday between the hours of 3 and 10 p.m. Heuring was one of five Missouri Conservation Agents working to rescue people from dangerously flooded areas throughout Butler County last night.
Heuring said one of the greatest assets the Conservation Department can offer in this situation is boating equipment.
“I operated the boat while the fireman went into the homes to help the individuals out,” Heuring said of Monday night’s evacuations. “It was certainly a busy day.”
He also said it was an emotional evening.
“Everyone has something dear to them that they worry about,” Heuring said. “For the children, they just really didn’t want to leave their homes. And then of course people were worried about their pets and thankfully we were able to rescue the three dogs and the parakeet along with the families they belonged to.”
Heuring said boating through a city environment is much different than taking a boat out on a lake or river.
“It was somewhat scary knowing that many of these houses with water coming in over their windows still had working electricity,” he said. “But thankfully we kept a watchful eye and avoided the dangers.”
Heuring said the important thing for people to remember is to try get out of a flooded area before the dangers escalate, adding that in many cases the water rose too fast for people to evacuate in their own vehicles.
“Most people realized once it began to get dark that they needed to get out,” he said. “It was right around sundown that the phone really began to ring.”
Missouri conservation agents also assisted in Stoddard, Wayne and Ripley Counties and they continue to work alongside other agencies in rescue and evacuation efforts today.