Gov. Nixon mobilizes National Guard in response to floods

1 year 5 months 4 hours ago December 29, 2015 Dec 29, 2015 Tuesday, December 29 2015 Tuesday, December 29, 2015 2:21:00 PM CST in News
By: Alex Dostaler, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Jay Nixon has called on the Missouri National Guard to protect Missourians and support emergency response personnel.

The Guard provided security in evacuated areas and direct traffic.

Guard responsibilities will include directing traffic away from road closures and providing security around breached levees and evacuated areas. Flooding has already led to the evacuation of West Alton and caused hundreds of road closures across Missouri.

“The Citizen Soldiers and Airmen of the Missouri National Guard are once again ready to support fellow Missourians in need,” said adjutant general Maj. Gen. Steve Danner. “We will provide the same high-quality emergency response they’ve come to expect.”

Gov. Nixon declared a state of emergency on Sunday due to heavy rain and flooding.

As a result of the storm system, river levels in some locations are predicted to be the highest in recorded history. The state is working closely with local officials to prepare and respond.

"As rivers rise to record levels, we are continuing to support Missouri communities and protect public safety during this historic flooding event," Gov. Nixon said.

The Governor warned motorists to never drive around road blocks or into standing water on roadways. There have been a total of 13 flood-related deaths in Missouri, 12 of which were caused by vehicles being swept from flooded roadways.

Gov. Nixon and members of the emergency management team today met with local officials in Perry County. They also met with experts at the National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Office in St. Charles County to prepare for record high river levels.

"All of us remember the devastating impact of the Great Flood of 1993 and that's why we have been working proactively with our local and federal partners to prepare and respond," Gov. Nixon said. 

NWS officials predicted the Mississippi River across the river from Perry County will match the previous record set in 1993.  In addition, the Mississippi River south of Cape Girardeau is expected to be as high as nearly two feet above the previous record.

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: This article has been updated to provide clarity and to include information from the Missouri National Guard.]

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