Missourians Urged to Take Protective Actions
JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) – Yesterday morning, as Missouri River levels continued to rise, Governor Mike Parson met with his emergency management team to review and update flood response plans. The team met at the State Emergency Operations Center, which is activated in response to expected historic flooding along some areas of the Missouri River.
Missouri River levels are expected to rise dramatically this weekend, with a 1.5-foot rise expected by Saturday in some areas. The Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota is currently releasing 100,000 cubic feet of water per second due to rapid plains snow melt and heavy rainfall.
“Northwest Missouri is already experiencing significant flooding that’s closing roads and impacting homeowners and farmers, and the situation will affect many more Missourians in the coming days,” Governor Parson said. “I urge Missourians to use care when traveling in flood areas and to never attempt to drive on flooded roads. People who live near rivers should be paying close attention to flooding updates and be ready to move valuable property, if necessary.”
The Governor said the state’s response includes:
- MoDOT is working with Nebraska, Kansas, and Iowa to prepare detour plans in anticipation of the rising floodwaters closing major roadways.
- The Missouri State Highway Patrol is preparing additional equipment and swift water rescue personnel are on standby.
- The Missouri National Guard, as a precautionary measure, is temporarily relocating the 139th Airlift Wing’s C-130s from Rosecrans Air National Guard Base in St. Joseph.
- At 7 a.m. today, the State Emergency Operations Center activated at a Level 3, which means key response agencies have personnel on the SEOC floor.
- A National Weather Service meteorologist is embedded at the State Emergency Operations Center.
Briefing the Governor this morning were the following: Department of Public Safety Deputy Director Kenny Jones, State Emergency Management Agency Director Ron Walker, Colonel Eric Olson, and Missouri National Guard Major General Steve Danner.
The Governor shared these safety tips:
- People who live in flood-prone areas near impacted rivers should elevate possessions and move vehicles and boats out of harm’s way in advance of flooding.
- Never drive past barricades; never attempt to drive on a water covered road or bridge.
- Report observed impacts to infrastructure, including levees, to local emergency officials.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities.
Governor Parson is expected to travel to St. Joseph this afternoon, to meet with local officials and view response efforts. SEMA has assisted the City of St. Joseph inquiring 365,000 sandbags from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. SEMA also supplied St. Joseph with a sandbagging machine. The city is currently working to bolster levees.