The risk of heavy rain will be on the increase Friday afternoon into Saturday night as the storm passes through Lake of the Ozarks. Flash flooding will be possible.

Flash flood warnings are being issued, events are being postponed and preparations are underway ahead of a storm front expected to settle over Missouri through the weekend, bringing with it periods of heavy rainfall.

While good news for drought-stricken farmers, anyone with outdoor activities planned for the next three days should prepare accordingly. The front is remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon combined with a cold front. Although the storm is not expected to produce severe thunderstorms, heavy rainfall is expected. Forecasters are warning the heavy rainfall could produce dangerous conditions in flood-prone area along creeks, streams and low water crossings.

Ameren Missouri is hoping to get ahead of the rainfall by ramping up generation at Bagnell Dam to make room for additional water in Lake of the Ozarks.

“We are constantly balancing forecasted weather, generation, water from Truman and lake level guide curves,” according to Warren Witt, director of hydro operations. “With the forecasted outlook, the decision was made to generate more power to lower the water a bit in preparation of potential heavy rain.”

On Thursday, the lake level was sitting at 658.5 feet above sea level with moderate generation, Ameren’s goal is to maintain the lake level at 658.4 Friday through Saturday when the storms are expected to pass through the area with the heaviest amounts of rain. Based on the current forecast, Ameren predicts the lake level will rise to 658.9 on Saturday followed by increases of 659 to 660 over the following few days. By September 10, the lake level should drop back to 658.

According to the National Weather Service forecast, scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms will form across the region Friday. While severe weather is not expected, occasional lightning strikes and some localized flooding will be possible.

The risk of heavy rain will be on the increase Friday afternoon into Saturday night as the storm passes through Lake of the Ozarks. Flash flooding will be possible.

Rainfall amounts across the area will range from 4 to 6 inches leading to the potential for flooding of low water crossings and other flood prone areas from Friday afternoon through Saturday night.

A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding can present very dangerous conditions.

The Missouri Department of Public Safety says flooding is the leading cause of weather-related death in Missouri. More than half of people killed by flooding drive into flood waters in their vehicles. It is especially dangerous at night when you may not be able to see rising waters.

The Missouri Department of Transportation will be watching the storm’s progress. MoDOT is reminding motorists to be on guard for flooded roads.

“We are on the watch for rising water and will close roads as necessary,” said Central District Engineer David Silvester. “If motorists encounter a closed road, we remind them to never drive around the barriers. They are there for your safety and protection.”

Even if a road is not flooded, Silvester urged drivers to also use extra caution when driving on wet roads.

“We often see an increase in traffic crashes when wet weather hits, so it’s important for drivers to allow extra time for traveling and follow the rules of the road.”

The Missouri Department of Public Safety recommends:

•When a flash flood warning is issued for your area, or the moment you realize that a flash flood is imminent, act quickly. Go to higher ground immediately.

•Do not attempt to cross flowing streams on foot. Even six inches of flowing water can knock you off your feet.

•Never let children play around high water, storm drains, or viaducts.

•Never drive past a barricade closing flooded roads. They are there to protect you.

•Never expect barriers to block off flooded low-water crossings, bridges or roads because flash flood waters often rise so quickly authorities do not have time to respond.

•If your vehicle becomes stuck in rising water, get out quickly and move to higher ground because rapidly rising water may engulf the vehicle and sweep it away.