Gov. Nixon activates National Guard in response to increased risk of flooding in Northwest Missouri

June 23, 2010
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases more water from the Gavins Point Reservoir, creating potential for more flooding along the Missouri River
Jefferson City, MO

Gov. Jay Nixon today activated the Missouri National Guard to provide emergency assistance to residents of northwest Missouri communities that could be affected by continued flooding along the Missouri River.

Gov. Nixon's action was taken in response to notification from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers late Wednesday that it would release more water from the upper Missouri River at the Gavins Point reservoir over the next four days. The Corps said it would increase the release of water from 15,000 cubic feet per second to 20,000 cubic feet per second on Wednesday, and incrementally increase releases between Wednesday and Saturday until a target release rate of 35,000 cubic feet per second is achieved.

"My first priority is protecting the people of Missouri during this flooding emergency, " Gov. Nixon said. "I have activated the National Guard to provide help whenever and wherever it is needed to fight the flood waters, protect residents of flood-stricken communities and assist local officials and emergency responders. We will be continuously and closely monitoring this situation and take every necessary action to protect lives and property."

"As I saw this week from the air, things on the ground can change dramatically in just a matter of hours," Gov. Nixon said. "With hundreds of homes, thousands of acres of farmland, and business and transportation routes at stake, we aren't taking anything for granted."

On Monday, June 21, Gov. Nixon signed Executive Order 10-22 to declare a state of emergency in Missouri in response to severe weather that began June 12, producing significant flooding in northwest Missouri. The counties affected most by the flooding to date include Atchison, Holt and Buchanan. On June 15, he issued an executive order activating the State Emergency Operations Center in response to the storms.

Twice during the last week, Gov. Nixon has visited northwest Missouri counties to survey the flood damage. Last Friday, Gov. Nixon  visited Big Lake State Park and met with local emergency responders in Mound City. On Tuesday, the Governor conducted an aerial survey of flooding in the area and met with emergency responders and volunteer s sandbagging to protect the town of Fortescue in Holt County from rising water.  He was accompanied this week by Missouri Department of Public Safety Director John M. Britt, Brig. General Stephen Danner of the Missouri National Guard, and Major Bret Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

More emergency information on flooding, river levels and forecasts can be found at MO.gov.