June 28, 2011
Gov. Nixon requests federal emergency declaration from the President because of unprecedented flooding
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Jay Nixon today requested that President Barack Obama declare an emergency for the state of Missouri because of unprecedented flooding along the Missouri river system. Flooding caused by excessive rain and by releases of water from reservoirs along the Missouri River has already impacted several counties in northwest Missouri, and is expected to affect every county in the state along the river. In addition, flash flooding in northeast Missouri has impacted two counties there.
"I've ordered the Missouri National Guard to coordinate efforts to protect Missourians and their property, and we've mobilized numerous other state resources to help local emergency response and law enforcement officials as well," Gov. Nixon said. "A federal emergency declaration is another important step in our work to bring every resource to bear to fight these historic floods that are impacting so much of Missouri."
In his letter to the President seeking the emergency declaration, Gov. Nixon asked for federal assistance for work and services to save lives and property, including appropriate supplies to support long-term shelter operations for communities forced to evacuate their homes because of rising flood water, and technical assistance and equipment such as pumps, sandbags and sand to support flood-fighting operations.
Several communities in Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Holt and Platte counties already have been evacuated, or are in the process of evacuation, because of flooding. Missouri River flooding has closed sections of Interstate 29 and U.S. highways 136 and 159 in the area as well.
The counties along the Missouri River that are already affected or will be affected by the flooding are Andrew, Atchison, Boone, Buchanan, Callaway, Carroll, Chariton, Clay, Cole, Cooper, Franklin, Gasconade, Holt, Howard, Jackson, Lafayette, Moniteau, Montgomery, Osage, Platte, Ray, Saline, St. Charles, St. Louis and Warren, as well as the City of St. Louis. Clark and Lewis counties have been impacted by the flashfloods in northeast Missouri.
On June 8, Gov. Nixon issued Executive Order 11-18 directing the Missouri National Guard to coordinate and supervise the state's efforts in preparing for and responding to flooding along the Missouri River and its tributaries. The National Guard will continue to work directly with local law enforcement and emergency management agencies to ensure that Missourians and their property are protected.
The Governor surveyed flooding in northwest Missouri yesterday, and met with local officials about their flood-fighting efforts.
Last week, Gov. Nixon ordered the State Emergency Management Agency to assist communities in obtaining sand for sandbagging in areas affected by flooding along the Missouri River. Rising water levels already have breached levees and forced the evacuation of small towns along the river in northwest Missouri.
Supplies of sand are being used to fight flooding along the Missouri River, but high water and swift current have made river-dredging operations - the usual source of sand - unsafe in affected areas. At Gov. Nixon's direction, SEMA has identified additional suppliers that can provide sand to communities where local supplies may be exhausted or running low.
Missourians who need disaster information, shelter information or referrals are urged to call 211. The 211 service number is now available for most areas in Missouri. In areas where the 211 number is not operational, citizens can call 800-427-4626. Weather and emergency information also are available on the state of Missouri's website, MO.gov.