Gov. Jay Nixon toured parts of flood-ravaged south-central Missouri Thursday following days of heavy rains, which damaged dozens of homes and killed a young boy.
Nixon praised the work of local organizations in their response efforts, including the Red Cross, whose Waynesville shelter housed 27 people Wednesday night. Nixon has called upon the Missouri National Guard for security and traffic control, as numerous streets have been closed, including sections of I-44 earlier this week.
Authorities in southern Missouri have identified a 23-year-old single mother who's presumed to have died in recent flooding that also killed her young son.
Pulaski County Sheriff Ron Long said Thursday that 4-year-old Elyjah M. Lee and his mother, Jessica D. Lee, both of Waynesville, were in a car that was swept off a roadway early Tuesday after torrential rains hit the area, flooding streets and damaging homes and businesses.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has begun re-opening many Mid-Missouri roads and highways that were closed due to flooding, but some county roads are still affected, particularly those near the Osage River.
MODOT reopened the 14 mile stretch of I-44 near Jerome southwest of Rolla Thursday morning, which had been closed for nearly 24 hours. Highway 63 near Westphalia was also closed Wednesday afternoon due to water on the road, but that route was also re-opened Thursday morning.
Rivers and creeks in south-central Missouri usually known for their gentle meandering have turned into murky, roaring waterways. A 4-year-old boy drowned in the floods near Waynesville, officials are searching for his mother. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has deployed 50 military policemen from the Missouri National Guard to help in the effort to save lives and property.
Miller County Emergency Management Director Barlow Biggers says the county hasn’t seen Osage River flooding like this in 30 years.
As of 11:00am Wednesday, Biggers says 30 county roads and three highways had been closed or are under water. He says the fire department had also already had to respond to three swift water rescues, which were all successful.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency after heavy rain caused flash flooding in the south-central part of the state. Nixon has spoken with emergency responders in Pulaski County and Waynesville, assuring them the region will get help.
A child was killed and several homes and businesses damaged after several inches of rain last night and this morning caused flooding in Waynesville. The Highway Patrol deployed extra troopers, a rescue helicopter and other assets to help emergency responders. Nixon's executive order also activates the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan, allowing state agencies to coordinate directly with local jurisdictions on emergency services.
The federal government has added a northeast Missouri county to the list of areas eligible for disaster assistance following severe storms and floods in late spring. The addition of Scotland County brings the total to 28 counties in which local governments and nonprofit agencies may seek federal assistance to help cover their response and recovery expenses.
The federal disaster declaration covers damage from storms and flooding from May 29 to June 10.