Gov. Jay Nixon today conducted an aerial survey of flooding in northwest Missouri and met with emergency responders and volunteer sandbaggers as they worked to protect the town of Fortescue in Holt County from encroaching flood waters.
The Governor also today authorized the use of offenders from the Department of Corrections to assist in sandbagging efforts. Thirty-seven offenders from the Western Reception and Diagnostic Correctional Center in St. Joseph were utilized by the Missouri Department of Transportation in the effort to protect Interstate 29 from rising flood waters near the Mound City exit.
"The emergency responders and residents of northwest Missouri communities have been strong in their resolve to fight the flood waters, protect their communities and help their neighbors," Gov. Nixon said. "This afternoon, we saw just how much impact the flooded Missouri River has had on this region and the importance of state agencies doing everything possible to assist local communities and residents. Our commitment continues and will only strengthen if required by changing conditions."
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 on June 12 and significant flooding in northwest Missouri.
On June 15, the Governor issued an executive order activating the State Emergency Operations Center in response to the storms. Gov. Nixon also visited northwest Missouri last week to survey flood damage at Big Lake State Park and meet with local emergency responders in Mound City. Activation of the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan allows state agencies to coordinate directly with local jurisdictions to provide emergency services.
"The degree to which the flood waters have fanned out and deepened, affecting more communities, like Craig, Corning and Fortescue in just a matter of four days, since I was last in the region, is remarkable," Gov. Nixon said. "We must protect homes, farms, businesses and transportation routes and help with recovery efforts wherever they are need."
Accompanying Gov. Nixon during today's survey of flood conditions were 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.
Prior to boarding a Missouri National Guard Blackhawk helicopter to survey flooded areas, Gov. Nixon met with first responders from St. Joseph and Buchanan County at Rosecrans Missouri Air National Guard Base to discuss the response efforts and community needs.
More emergency information on flooding and on river levels and forecasts can be found at MO.gov.