JEFFERSON CITY, MO – A state of emergency has been declared by Governor Jay Nixon in response to widespread flooding in Missouri. At least eight deaths are connected to the high waters in the state. More rain and additional flooding is expected through Monday. River levels are expected to rise over the next few days.
The Governor’s office says that the Missouri State Highway Patrol has done dozens of water rescues, and assisted in the evacuation of residents from flooded areas. There are more than 180 roads closed across the state due to flooding. The Governor is urging Missourians in flood-affected areas to avoid travel if possible.
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A release from the Governor’s office has several tips to deal with high water:
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling.
- A foot of water will float many vehicles. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including sport utility vehicles and pick-ups. Even if the water appears shallow enough to cross, don’t try it. Water hides dips in the road. Worse yet, there may be no road at all under the water.
- Flooding can scour away the entire road surface and a significant amount of ground beneath.
Missourians who need disaster information, shelter information, and referrals are urged to call 211. The 211 service is now available throughout Missouri.