January 30, 2009
Gov. Nixon increases response of Missouri National Guard to support continued recovery efforts from winter storm
Gov. Nixon assists with the distribution of water and other supplies to residents of Butler County at the emergency distribution center in Poplar Bluff.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov. Jay Nixon today mobilized an additional 50 Citizen-Soldiers of the Missouri National Guard to assist communities in southeast Missouri with recovery from the devastating winter storm of Jan. 26-27. The additional Guardsmen join 150 Soldiers mobilized by the Governor this week; they are in addition to the hundreds of full-time members of the National Guard from across the state who have been responding to the disaster.
"When I visited Sikeston with Gen. Danner on Thursday, we saw both the destruction of this storm and how the National Guard and other state agencies are providing needed assistance to the local officials who have working ceaselessly for several days," Gov. Nixon said. "We will continue to put resources in to this effort to help get power and vital services up and running again."
The Guardsmen are supporting local authorities in a wide range of missions throughout the region of 10 severely affected counties. Those missions include route clearance, door-to-door wellness visits, and transportation support in Butler, Dunklin, Howell, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Ripley, Stoddard, Scott and Wayne counties.
"During our visit to the area yesterday, my heart went out to those families affected by the devastation," said Brig. Gen. Stephen L. Danner, adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard. "But as bad as the devastation is, the local communities are working nonstop to ensure their citizens get the help they need. The Missouri National Guard is proud to be a strong part of that help."
Danner wants Missouri Citizen-Soldiers living in the affected area to focus on helping their families, and has only mobilized Soldiers from outside the storm area. There are nearly 20 Soldiers from inside the storm zone who have still volunteered to join the recovery efforts.
The Citizen-Soldiers were mobilized under the authority of Gov. Jay Nixon on Wednesday. The Guardsmen will stay on duty until relieved by the governor and local authorities.