Missouri Declares State of Emergency

Floodwaters threatening critical infrastructure
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 22, 2019 1:05 AM CDT

(Newser) – Missouri Gov. Mike Parson declared a state of emergency Thursday following flooding that left several people stranded and continues to cause damage and strain levees in several Midwest states. Parson's action will allow state agencies to work directly with local officials responding to flooding. Parson, along with the state's Emergency Management Agency director and other officials, planned to meet with local leaders and survey damage Thursday, the AP reports. "The rising floodwaters are affecting more Missouri communities and farms, closing more roads and threatening levees, water treatment plants, and other critical infrastructure," Parson said in a statement.

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The Missouri River has swelled following heavy rains and snowmelt earlier this month. The flooding has claimed three lives, damaged thousands of homes, and busted about 20 levees in Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri. President Trump on Thursday also approved Nebraska's request for federal disaster assistance, which provides federal aid to supplement state, local, and tribal recovery efforts. In Missouri, the river is expected to crest Friday in St. Joseph at the third-highest flood level on record. Water was filling a casino parking lot in the city, though only about half a dozen homes in the city aren't protected by a federal levee. Military planes were evacuated last week from nearby Rosecrans Air National Guard base. The flooding has also taken a heavy toll on agriculture, inundating tens of thousands of acres, threatening stockpiled grain, and killing livestock.

(Read more Missouri stories.)

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