JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Jay Nixon today ordered the deployment of 50 military policemen of the Missouri National Guard to assist local civil authorities in protecting lives and property threatened by flash floods in areas of southern Missouri impacted by flooding from recent heavy rain.
“The Citizen-Soldiers of the Missouri National Guard are one of our most valuable assets in helping Missourians during and after natural disasters, and their skill and training will greatly assist state and local emergency responders in taking necessary action to save lives,” Gov. Nixon said.
This morning, Gov. Nixon spoke to elected officials in Laclede, Miller, Phelps and Pulaski counties about the situation in each of those counties, and about the ongoing assistance from the state.
Yesterday, the Governor declared a state of emergency after heavy rains caused flash flooding and at least one confirmed death in the Waynesville area. That executive order activated the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan, which allows state agencies to coordinate directly with local jurisdictions to provide emergency services.
In addition to the deployment of the Missouri National Guard, the Missouri State Highway Patrol has deployed additional marine operations troopers, a rescue helicopter and associated assets to the region to assist local emergency responders. At the Governor’s direction, those resources will remain in place until the threat has passed. The State Emergency Management Agency is actively monitoring conditions and will continue to work with local response agencies to provide additional support as needed.
The Governor urged residents of flood-affected areas of southern Missouri to pay close attention to weather warnings and follow the safety instructions of local officials as the potential for additional dangerous flooding continues. Missourians, especially motorists, are encouraged to remember these important safety tips on flooding and high water:
Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling.
A foot of water will float many vehicles. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including sport utility vehicles and pick-ups. Even if the water appears shallow enough to cross, don’t try it. Water hides dips in the road. Worse yet, there may be no road at all under the water. Flooding can scour away the entire road surface and a significant amount of ground beneath.
An update is expected today on the Rockwood School District audit. State Auditor Tom Schweich will present his follow-up report around 2:00pm. Rockwood was first audited in February and received a "fair" rating on the auditor's scale because of so-called "serious issues" in the budget. The most serious being that Rockwood overpaid a construction firm by $1.2 million for renovation projects. But Schweich's office said that none of the issues would rise to the level of a serious legal infraction.
CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - Administrators at Southern Illinois University are preparing for a record number of new students arriving on campus when fall classes begin later this month. But that's creating a housing crunch at the Carbondale school.
WSIL-TV says new student enrollment is on pace to beat 2008's record, thanks to an anticipated 10 percent increase in new students.
But SIU spokesman Rod Sievers that means there are more students than beds.
The school is building new dorms, but they're years from being completed. And three of the oldest residence halls on campus were torn down.
That means the school scrambling to put more students in each dorm room.
Administrators attribute the enrollment increase with the success of a marketing campaign that's helped boost declining enrollment.
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (AP) - Threats of further flooding prompted Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to postpone a trip to flood-damaged Waynesville Wednesday that had been planned to discuss emergency response efforts.
The governor's office announced in a news release that the event was postponed because state and local emergency management workers are responding to continued dangerous flooding in south-central Missouri.
Rain was falling again Wednesday morning in much of south-central Missouri.
A child was killed and several homes and businesses damaged after heavy rain Monday night and Tuesday morning soaked Waynesville, a south-central Missouri town near Fort Leonard Wood. A search resumed Wednesday for a woman who is believed to be the child's mother.
A new development in the case of Reggie Clemons, who was convicted of raping and murdering two sisters on the Chain of Rocks bridge in 1991. Judge Michael Manners said Clemons failed to establish his innocence during a special hearing in the case. However, Manners also said prosecutors improperly suppressed evidence and that police coerced Clemons into confessing. Clemons pleaded the 5th Amendment more than 30 times during a hearing in September. The Missouri Supreme Court will now make the final ruling. They can decide on anything from keeping Clemons on death row to throwing out the case.
Westbound I-44 is closed for 14 miles between mile markers 172 - 186 between Rolla and Waynesville due to flooding.
Floodwaters from the Gasconade River have closed all lanes of Interstate 44 from mile marker 172 to mile marker 186 near Jerome in Phelps County.
Motorists and commercial motor carriers traveling eastbound on I-44 are asked to exit at mile marker 69 and take Route 360 to Route 60 at Springfield to Route 63 at Cabool to get back on to I-44 at Rolla. Travelers westbound on I-44 should take Route 63 at Rolla to Route 60 at Cabool to Route 360 to get back on to I-44 west of Springfield.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has put up barriers at the closures, as well as signs to mark the detours.
“We will continue to monitor these areas until the floodwaters recede,” said MoDOT Central District Engineer David Silvester.
Drivers are encouraged to check MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map, located at www.modot.org, or call the department’s toll free number, 1-888-ASK-MODOT, to get updated information on road conditions.
Motorists should take extra care in their travels during this time and never attempt to get around roadway barricades or drive across flooded roadways. MoDOT also recommends allowing extra travel time if detours are necessary.
An evacuation order is in effect in Waynesville near Fort Leonard Wood where a young boy was swept away by flood waters and killed yesterday and a woman, believed to be his mother, remains missing.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in central and southern Missouri where more heavy rain fell overnight and more than 100 homeowners watched in vain as water inundated their homes. The area already swamped by flash flooding yesterday (Tuesday) is again under a flash flood watch until 10 a.m.
In the KTRS listening area that includes St. Francois, St. Genevieve and Washington Counties in Missouri, and Randolph County in Illinois. The National Weather Service reports that the heaviest rainfall is again just northeast of the Waynesville and Fort Leonard Wood areas, but Farmington, Eldin, Rolla and Ironton are also being inundated.
Alton police are searching for a missing 82 year old woman. Police say Shirley Plunk was last seen late Monday morning at the Hillcrest Apartments in Alton.
Plunk is 5 feet 6 inches tall, about 250 pounds with gray hair.
Police say she rarely ventures outside of Alton and drives a grayish-green 2006 Chrysler Town and Country minivan with Illinois license plate: CEPSMP.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Alton police at 618-463-3505.
The Macy's department store in downtown St. Louis is now closed. The retailer shut its doors for good Tuesday.
Macy's officials had announced in June that it was closing the store that had been open under various names for nearly 90 years. Under the Famous-Barr name, the nearly 190,000 square foot department store occupied seven floors of the Railway Exchange Building on Olive Street.
Macy's officials have said previously they would try to relocate the store's nearly 100 employees to other stores in the area. Another 100 employees in the company's corporate and district offices have moved to Macy's Earth City offices.
Property taxes will remain the same for homeowners in the Ferguson-Florissant School District after voters rejected the district's first tax hike request in 21 years.
Only 42 percent of voters in Tuesday's election approved the measure that would have raised taxes by 75 cents for each $100 of assessed valuation. The tax hike would have raised about $6 million for district schools.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the district is facing a projected $4.6 million shortfall for the coming school year, despite cutting before- and after-school programs and freezing teacher pay.
MoDOT has issued a traffic advisory for part of Interstate 70 in St. Charles County Tuesday night.
Two of four westbound lanes between Mid Rivers Mall Drive and Highway 79 are closed for construction until 5 a.m.
Crews will be paving a new westbound ramp and the new fifth lane of westbound I-70 as part of the diverging diamond interchange.