Governor Nixon has activated state resources to respond to a rarity in Missouri: a blizzard.
Nixon has issued two executive orders. One activates the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan, which allows state agencies to assist cities and counties in preparing and responding to this winter storm. The other activates the National Guard.
“Temperatures across the state will be very cold, in the single digits or lower for a number of days in a row here,” Nixon stated during a news conference held Monday afternoon in his Capitol office. “This is a very serious storm.”
Nixon was joined by Adjutant General Steve Danner and State Highway Patrol Superintendent Colonel Ron Replogle.
Replogle says Missouri motorists need to take this one seriously.
“I don’t think Missouri drivers have seen a storm system quite like this one unless you’ve lived in the northern plains of the United States,” Replogle stated. “Rarely do we have a blizzard warning ever issued in the state of Missouri.”
Replogle encouraged anyone who doesn’t have to travel to stay put.
Adjutant General Steve Danner says the Missouri National Guard is prepared to help in any way it can.
“Whether it might be a rescue of individuals who are stranded at a farm home, whether it might be taking elderly patients to or from a hospital or a nursing home,” said Danner.
More than 600 guardsmen have been activated. Almost all the nearly 800 State Highway Patrol troopers, plus Water Patrol will be on hand to respond as the storm.
Nixon encouraged Missourians to take steps to protect themselves and their families such as listening to the radio or NOAA Weather Radio for updates or watching local television for weather reports. Also, the state Web site – mo.gov – will have emergency information. Anyone considering driving should check the latest road conditions from the Missouri Department of Transportation Web site. The State Highway Patrol can be reached by cell phone at *55. Missourians in need of disaster information, shelter information and referrals can call 2-1-1. The 211 service is now available in most of Missouri. An alternate number to call is 1-800-427-4626.