Governor Blunt has stepped up Missouri’s National Guard commitment to hurricane relief.
He’s calling out more units that will be on the move tomorrow, joining the 600 Guard members called up yesterday. His latest callup increase Missouri’s Guard commitment to 1300 soldiers.
The latest units are from Joplin, Kansas City, Carthage and Anderson, Festus, Perryville, Lexington and Trenton. The units called up yesterday are from Poplar Bluff, Springfield, Dexter, Portageville, Nevada, Lamar..and from fort Leonard Wood.
Missouri’s National Guard is part of a mutual aid agreement with Louisiana.
The Missouri Water Patrol and the Conservation Department are sending six officers each to the area. They’re taking boats and four-wheel-drive rescue vehicles with them. Those people will go to a staging area in Baton Rouge and wait to be dispatched. A water patrol spokesman says the callup of its officers leaves the agency short of patrolmen on this last day of the Labor Day holiday.
Emergency shelters were set up in eight cities–St.Louis, St. Joseph, Cape Girardeau, Kansas City, Jefferson City, Columbia, Hannibal, and Springfield–after Louisiana announced plans to fly evacuees out of New Orleans to Missouri. However, Louisiana announced it was closing its airports at mid-afternoon yesterday and some readjustment of the shelter plans might be made.
However, a spokesman for the state emergency management agency says people who have voluntarily left the Gulf coast are headed north and reports have been heard that motels in Cape Girardeau are getting evacuees.