State response to winter storm continuing as bitter cold weather system blankets Missouri

March 3, 2014

Gov. Jay Nixon today announced the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) continues to monitor power outages and work closely with utilities and other response agencies on a 24-hour basis in response to the winter storm system that has now blanketed much of Missouri in bitter cold temperatures and hazardously low wind chill factors.

The storm that carried a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain to Missouri beginning on Saturday brought several inches of snow to parts of the state, but the most significant impact has been freezing rain, which left as much as a quarter inch of ice in some parts of southeast Missouri. One shelter was opened Sunday at Temple Baptist Church in Caruthersville. The shelter had an overnight population of 11 residents.

“The State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) continues to monitor power outages and stay in close communication  with Missouri’s electric utilities and our volunteer and faith-based response partners in case emergency shelters or warming centers need to be established because of the bitter cold temperatures that are affecting the state,” Gov. Nixon said. “I appreciate Missourians reducing travel over the weekend and remind motorists that many secondary roads still have a slick layer of ice that can make driving hazardous. Please continue to reduce travel, reduce speed, and allow extra time for your trip.”

The State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) maintains continuous contact with the American Red Cross and other volunteer and faith-based organizations, which stand ready to establish shelters on short notice if necessary.

The Governor asked Missourians to:

  • Report downed power lines immediately to their electric utility; to stay away from them; and to warn others to do so as well.
  • Be extremely careful with portable space heaters, keeping anything that can burn at least three feet away, including furniture, drapes, and electronics. Turn off portable heaters when leaving a room or going to bed.
  • If power is lost, remember generators should only be used outside and away from any windows and vents to prevent deadly fumes from entering the home.
  • Continue to monitor local news sources for weather forecast updates, information on closures and emergency information.
  • If you must drive, check for road conditions before departing. Dial the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s emergency line – *55 from a cellular phone – if you encounter an accident while driving on a highway.
  • Check on the elderly and neighbors who may be in need of additional assistance. For information about emergency services and resources, visit

Missourians who need disaster information, shelter information, and referrals are urged to call 211. The 211 service is now available throughout Missouri.

The Governor, who delayed his scheduled departure for a trade mission to Canada in order to coordinate the state’s preparations for, and response to, the winter storm, will later tonight join the delegation of Missouri businesses and state officials. Gov. Nixon will travel to Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto where he will seek to expand opportunities for Missouri businesses to sell their products to Canadian customers, and meet with major Canadian businesses that have or may be considering making investments in Missouri.