Gov. Jay Nixon declares state of emergency in response to floods

11 months 1 week 2 days ago December 27, 2015 Dec 27, 2015 Sunday, December 27 2015 Sunday, December 27, 2015 6:19:00 PM CST in News
By: Alex Dostaler, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency for the entire state of Missouri after flooding caused nearly 400 roads to close down across the state.

Pulaski County sheriff Ron Long confirmed at least six people died in two separate vehicle incidents as a result of flooding and at least one person remains missing. 

Ameren Missouri opened the Bagnell Dam on Saturday afternoon in response of the large quantity of rain, and it does not look to stop anytime soon.

MoDOT announced earlier on Sunday that I-70 towards St. Charles was closed off both ways at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, and it was announced both lanes will be closed Monday.

KOMU 8 Weathercaster Tim Schmidt said the Lake of the Ozarks received around two inches of rainfall as of early Saturday evening, and said he expects around five to seven inches total.

Gov. Nixon urged those in areas affected by floods to avoid traveling if possible.

 “Widespread flooding and continued rainfall are causing very dangerous conditions across much of central and southern Missouri,” said Gov. Nixon. “Multiple fatalities due to flash flooding have already been reported, and I urge Missourians in flood-affected areas to stay alert, avoid travel if possible and never drive into a flooded roadway. With more heavy rain expected tonight and tomorrow, state emergency management personnel will be working around the clock to keep Missourians safe.”

Snow and freezing rain are also expected in northern Missouri as temperatures drop and wind gusts increase. 

Gov. Nixon has these tips to Missourians in the event they need to travel:

  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling.
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including sport utility vehicles and pick-ups. Even if the water appears shallow enough to cross, don’t try it. Water hides dips in the road. Worse yet, there may be no road at all under the water. Flooding can scour away the entire road surface and a significant amount of ground beneath.

Missourians who need disaster information, shelter information, and referrals are urged to call 211.

You also can keep up with the latest road closures by viewing MoDOT's road conditions map on our website. You can view current weather conditions on our Live Doppler 8 First Alert Weather Radar any time.

[Editor's note: The article has been updated to provide clarity on dates.]

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