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.
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.
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.
After several days of heavy rain across the lower Missouri River basin, the amount of water released into the river is being reduced to help minimize flooding.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it began reducing the amount of water flowing into the Missouri River on Sunday because of concerns about flooding downstream. On Sunday, the Corps decreased the amount of water being released from Gavins Point Dam, located on the South Dakota-Nebraska state line, from 24,000 cubic feet per second to 12,000 cubic feet per second.
“… that will help the peak stages on the river in some locations and also shorten the duration of the high flows,” the Corps’ Jody Farhat said.