JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — As devastating flooding continues to impact Northwest Missouri and conditions worsen, an official state of emergency has been declared.
On Thursday, Gov. Mike Parson signed Executive Order 19-05 making the emergency declaration official. He also activated the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan, which allows state agencies to coordinate directly with local jurisdictions.
Towns have been evacuated, levees have failed, and river levels are expected to peak on Thursday. In the last several days, conditions along the Missouri and Mississippi River systems have worsened as a result of release from upstream reservoirs, snow melt, and excessive rainfall.
Wednesday night, Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers rescued several people from homes and three people from a stranded boat in and around Craig where a temporary levee failed. Ongoing sandbagging efforts include at a water treatment plant in Forest City, Missouri. A Red Cross shelter in Mound City, Missouri, is currently housing 12 people forced from their homes by flooding.
Missouri’s State Emergency Operations Center was partially activated on March 15 in response to flooding, and the Department of Public Safety and its State Emergency Management Agency and Missouri State Highway Patrol along with the Missouri Department of Transportation have been devoting additional resources to supporting communities since then.
Flood waters have risen into the St Joe Frontier Casino’s parking areas. pic.twitter.com/YxVJHHkpIK
— MSHP Troop H (@MSHPTrooperH) March 21, 2019
“The rising floodwaters are affecting more Missouri communities and farms, closing more roads and threatening levees, water treatment plants and other critical infrastructure,” Parson said. “We will continue to work closely with our local partners to assess needs and provide resources to help as Missourians continue this flood fight and as we work to assist one another.”
Parson, along with Congressman Sam Graves, Major General Stephen Danner, Missouri Agriculture Director Chris Chinn, and State Emergency Management Agency Director Ron Walker, is planning the following to visit affected areas to survey the damage and meet with local officials in northwest Missouri on Thursday afternoon.
They will meet with local officials from Atchison and Holt counties in Rock Port, Missouri, then survey the flooding impact from air before meeting with Buchanan County officials at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base.
Officials reminded Missourians to always be careful around flooded areas and understand the risks floodwater poses.
- Standing water can carry infectious diseases and hide hazards, including road damage, glass, and sewage.
- Storm drains can create an extremely dangerous situation for anyone caught in the current.
- Avoid walking through floodwater and keep children from playing in it.
- Never attempt to drive over flooded roads.
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.