Missouri faces flooding of historic proportions, according to Governor Eric Greitens (R). He tells Missourinet that he has activated Missouri National Guard troops to help with flood-fighting efforts.
“Parts of the Meramec, Gasconade and Mississippi Rivers are likely to flood higher than we’ve ever seen in Missouri’s recorded history,” says Greitens during a Sunday press conference. “For example, the Current River at Van Buren, the highest recorded flood up until Sunday was 29 feet. We’re expecting that by Tuesday at 7 a.m., we’re going to see 37 feet.”
Two people have been killed from this weekend’s flood waters in Missouri. One of the flood deaths occurred in southwest Missouri’s Clever and the other was in eastern Missouri’s Jefferson County.
Missourinet Springfield television partner KOLR 10 says the Missouri State Highway Patrol has confirmed that a woman died and a man was rescued Saturday, after they were swept away by flood waters south of Clever.
A 78-year-old man’s body was found near a creek between Cedar Hill and Hillsboro in eastern Missouri. He walked to a creek near his home on Sunday to look at floodwaters when he was washed away by swift-moving water.
No other serious injuries have been reported. Greitens says first responders on land, on water and in the sky have saved hundreds of lives during the weekend’s rescue efforts.
“As of 1500 on Sunday, we have done 111 evacuation operations and 136 separate rescue operations,” says Greitens.
Fallen tree limbs, power lines, and swift water have been reported in several parts of the state. Some of Missouri’s bridges and structures have been washed out. More than 700 state roads have been closed.
“The Missouri Department of Transportation, the Missouri Highway Patrol and others will actively monitoring and inspecting bridges and roads before they are reopened,” says Greitens.
Greitens say he’s communicating with White House officials about federal support if and when the threshold of a federal disaster declaration is reached.
Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt has activated a disaster relief program for small businesses and farms impacted by the flooding. The Harmed-area Emergency Loan Priority system, or HELP, authorizes 24-hour approval of support for low-interest loans obtained through participating lenders.
The American Red Cross in Missouri has opened shelters in Pacific, Perryville, Branson and Anderson to help those affected by storms and flooding. Additional shelters on standby are in Granby, Annapolis, Arnold, Desoto, Pacific, Poplar Bluff, Arcadia and Branson.