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.